Oceans

Recording old oceans centre tag.

Latest news

An expedition to discover new species in one of the most remote parts of the deep ocean is departing from Wellington today.
NIWA are studying the ocean off Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay to see how Cyclone Gabrielle has impacted the health of fisheries habitats and seabed ecosystems.
The 2022 Tonga volcanic eruption triggered the fastest underwater flow ever recorded.
A new NIWA study in Wellington Harbour will help scientists find untapped drinking water around the world.

Our work

Led by Ocean Census, NIWA and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a team of scientists are spending 21 days investigating the unexplored Bounty Trough ocean system off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

Latest videos

Tonga eruption and tsunami shock the world

Tsunamis and shockwaves hit continents on the other side of the Pacific. The Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai (HT-HH) volcano was like a massive shotgun blast from the deep, generating the biggest atmospheric explosion recorded on Earth in more than 100 years. Funded by The Nippon Foundation, NIWA and SEA-KIT surveyed over 22,000km2 surrounding the volcano, including mapping 14,000km2 of previously unmapped seafloor as part of The Nippon Foundation GEBCO Seabed 2030 project. Find out more: https://niwa.co.nz/news/tonga-eruption-confirmed-as-largest-ever-recorded

Dive into the alien world of plankton in the Ross Sea

Plankton are the base of the oceans food web and are vital to our survival. But as our world changes will they be able to continue to play this essential role? Join us as we follow a group of NIWA scientists investigating various aspects of this question in the ocean around Antarctica.

Antarctic science onboard NIWA’s RV Tangaroa

Researchers are working their way through a wealth of new Antarctic marine data after RV Tangaroa successfully completed its five week scientific voyage to the Ross Sea. Voyage leader and principal fisheries scientist Dr Richard O’Driscoll outlines the team’s busy research schedule examining biodiversity and ocean dynamics in the world’s largest marine protected area.

Check out more stories from the 2021 Antarctic voyage

The instruments at work - In the volcano's wake

Our team onboard RV Tangaroa are equipped with all the tech and tools they need to explore the undersea changes caused by the devastating volcanic eruption in Tonga earlier this year. They’ve been using a range of nifty scientific instruments to sample all matters of the ocean from the seafloor through to the water column. The line-up includes the: - DTIS (deep-towed imaging system) - Multicorer - CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) - Glider Find out what each of them do in our video. The NIWA-Nippon Foundation Tonga Eruption Seabed Mapping Project (TESMaP) is funded by The Nippon Foundation and also supported by The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed2030 Project which aims to map the world’s ocean floor by 2030. Learn more on our website: https://niwa.co.nz/our-science/voyages/2022-tonga-post-eruption

Tonga eruption and tsunami shock the world

Tsunamis and shockwaves hit continents on the other side of the Pacific. The Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai (HT-HH) volcano was like a massive shotgun blast from the deep, generating the biggest atmospheric explosion recorded on Earth in more than 100 years. Funded by The Nippon Foundation, NIWA and SEA-KIT surveyed over 22,000km2 surrounding the volcano, including mapping 14,000km2 of previously unmapped seafloor as part of The Nippon Foundation GEBCO Seabed 2030 project. Find out more: https://niwa.co.nz/news/tonga-eruption-confirmed-as-largest-ever-recorded

Dive into the alien world of plankton in the Ross Sea

Plankton are the base of the oceans food web and are vital to our survival. But as our world changes will they be able to continue to play this essential role? Join us as we follow a group of NIWA scientists investigating various aspects of this question in the ocean around Antarctica.

Antarctic science onboard NIWA’s RV Tangaroa

Researchers are working their way through a wealth of new Antarctic marine data after RV Tangaroa successfully completed its five week scientific voyage to the Ross Sea. Voyage leader and principal fisheries scientist Dr Richard O’Driscoll outlines the team’s busy research schedule examining biodiversity and ocean dynamics in the world’s largest marine protected area.

Check out more stories from the 2021 Antarctic voyage

A brief Q&A with Caroline Chin, a Marine Biology Technician with NIWA.
If I had to sum up our progress in a word: Life. And lots of it!
Learn more about the Bounty Trough Expedition. and voyage co-leader, Sadie Mills, Collection Manager at NIWA.
NIWA Voyage Leader, Sadie Mills on the first three days of The Ocean Census – Bounty Trough research voyage - a 21-day expedition to discover new species
Led by Ocean Census, NIWA and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a team of scientists are spending 21 days investigating the unexplored Bounty Trough ocean system off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
An expedition to discover new species in one of the most remote parts of the deep ocean is departing from Wellington today.
The main output of this voyage is providing data and fundamental base maps for future regional prospectivity surveys, tectonic plate reconstructions, and general understanding of the architecture of the Kermadec backarc.
The aim of the voyage was to enhance our capability to acoustically detect and characterise liquid and gaseous targets in the water column.
Understanding and modelling the effects of climate variability on ecosystem function in the Sub-Antarctic region, including effects on protected species and on ecologically and economically important fisheries.
Temperatures around Aotearoa New Zealand are increasing, and not just on land. Amid a changing climate, significant marine heatwaves have impacted Aotearoa over the past decade and are expected to become more frequent and intense.
NIWA are studying the ocean off Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay to see how Cyclone Gabrielle has impacted the health of fisheries habitats and seabed ecosystems.
The 2022 Tonga volcanic eruption triggered the fastest underwater flow ever recorded.
A new NIWA study in Wellington Harbour will help scientists find untapped drinking water around the world.
A new database describing marine species has been released to assist conservation.
Crabs, shrimps, lobsters, barnacles, slaters and other crustaceans are the stars of a new mini exhibition presented by NIWA and Te Papa.
Forecasting sea surface temperatures several months in advance is challenging. To give us insights into what might happen around Aotearoa New Zealand in the months to come, NIWA scientists have combined predictions from eight different climate models from institutes around the world.
Forecasting sea surface temperatures several months in advance is challenging. To give us insights into what might happen around Aotearoa New Zealand in the months to come, NIWA scientists have combined predictions from eight different climate models from institutes around the world.
Introduced pests and diseases can harm the health of Aotearoa New Zealand's marine ecosystems, our seafood industry, and the social and cultural benefits that we derive from the sea.
NIWA scientists will be in Hawkes Bay this week to map the seabed to measure the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle
A fossilised sponge from New Zealand has been named as one of the top 10 new marine species of 2022.

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All staff working on this subject

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Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
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Marine Ecologist - Quantitative Modeller
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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
Freshwater Fish Ecologist
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) Numerical Modeller
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Marine Sedimentologist
Principal Scientist - Carbon Chemistry and Modelling
General Manager - Operations
Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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Marine Physics Modeller
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Chief Scientist - Coasts and Estuaries
Principal Scientist - Marine Physics
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Physical Oceanographer
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