No.18 2008

Modelling the early life of Antarctic toothfish

Huge undersea landslide discovered in Cook Strait

New methane-munching bacteria discovered

More vast underwater canyons revealed

Wellington hosts international deepsea coral symposium

New methane-munching bacteria discovered

New methane-munching bacteria discovered

Methane plumes(vertical shapes) at the undersea Wairarapa methane seep.

An unusual group of methanotrophs – bacteria which digest methane – has been identified by NIWA scientists investigating the fate of undersea methane seeps in the Cook Strait-Wairarapa region.
The bacteria were collected in water samples from the methane seep plumes, at a depth of around 1000 m.

Huge undersea landslide discovered in Cook Strait

Huge undersea landslide discovered in Cook Strait

Scars, indicating large-scale slope failures, are clearly visible at a depth of around 140 m in Cook Strait.

Undersea mapping in Cook Strait has revealed detail of massive rock movements around a huge canyon, Nicholson Canyon, less than 15 km from Wellington Airport.
Using state-of-the-art multibeam equipment, scientists have discovered that the canyon walls are very steep. The over-300 m high walls have clearly visible scars indicating a large-scale slope collapse or landslide.

More vast underwater canyons revealed

More vast underwater canyons revealed

Bathymetry (water depth) map of the Moeraki, Haast, Waiatoto, Arawata, and Cascade Canyons off South Westland.

NIWA geologists have mapped more vast underwater canyons off South Westland, including the biggest yet.
Multibeam sonar mapping of the Hokitika and Cook Canyons from RV Tangaroa in 2005 revealed complex, meandering rivers and deep ravines which dwarf any features seen on land in New Zealand.

Research subject: Coasts