Oceans

Recording old oceans centre tag.

Latest news

A chance discovery off the Gisborne coast five years ago is prompting a NIWA scientist to find out more about the link between a field of methane seeps bubbling out of the sea floor and submarine landslides.

The on-going rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) that is fuelling climate change is also driving significant changes in the waters off our coasts.

The most detailed seafloor mapping of a coastal region off New Zealand has been completed in Marlborough.
A decade of scientific research into how ocean acidification is affecting New Zealand waters has led to far greater understanding of the vulnerability of our marine ecosystems, according to a newly published review.

Our work

NIWA is conducting a five–year study to map changes in the distribution of plankton species in surface waters between New Zealand and the Ross Sea.
Ocean acidification conditions around the New Zealand coast are being measured to establish baseline conditions and to quantify future change.
Our oceans are expected to become more acidic as carbon dioxide concentrations rise. This will likely have impacts on the plankton, which play a major role in ocean ecosystems and processes.
Where and when do white sharks occur in New Zealand waters, and how can fisheries bycatch be reduced?

Latest videos

Ocean Acidification
This video has been produced to highlight ocean acidification as a potential issue affecting the NZ shellfish aquaculture industry
Echo, Echo: Scanning the Seafloor on R.V. Tangaroa

NIWA ocean geologist Dr Joshu Mountjoy explains how the R.V. Tangaroa's multibeam system is used for bathymetric (seabed) mapping, and some of the benefits which come out of this mapping.

Seabed Frontier: A Brief History of Bathymetry

NIWA marine geologist John Mitchell gives a brief history of bathymetric (seabed) charting, and how it's been carried out over the last few hundred years. (01:18) 

Big Fish, Calm Sea - White Shark Tagging off Stewart Island

Tagging White Sharks off Stewart Island, NZ Scientists from DOC, NIWA, and the University of Auckland are building a unique picture of New Zealand's great white shark population.

NIWA's new Undersea New Zealand map provides a unique insight into the shape of the seafloor in one of the world's most extensive marine jurisdictions.

An international team of scientists has been studying bacteria that live in Arctic and Antarctica waters.

NIWA answers a wide range of scientific questions using ocean modelling. These models can be linked to well established weather forecasting models to predict ocean temperature, sea level and the dispersal of pollution.

Understanding how material released into the ocean spreads is very important in the case of oil spills, sediment transport and the release of invasive species. 

Echo, Echo: Scanning the Seafloor on R.V. Tangaroa

NIWA ocean geologist Dr Joshu Mountjoy explains how the R.V. Tangaroa's multibeam system is used for bathymetric (seabed) mapping, and some of the benefits which come out of this mapping.

Seabed Frontier: A Brief History of Bathymetry

NIWA marine geologist John Mitchell gives a brief history of bathymetric (seabed) charting, and how it's been carried out over the last few hundred years. (01:18) 

In July and early August 2012, a number of events are taking place as a result of the Our Far South voyage. 

Scientists have been working on ways to find out about earthquakes that occurred before oral and written records
began in New Zealand.

How does NIWA map the seafloor?

Multibeam echo sounders emit a fan of sound beams to the seafloor to scan a wide swath of the seabed in great detail. Compared with conventional echo sounders – which direct a single beam of sound to the seabed directly below a ship – multibeams show more detail and greatly reduce ship survey time and cost.

How it works

The hull-mounted multibeam transceiver sends out a beam of sound waves (see diagram below) which are reflected off the seafloor, back to a receiver on the ship.

New Zealand's largest research vessel Tangaroa sets off today to map, in high resolution detail, the southern Hikurangi Margin - a vital area of seabed off the east coast of New Zealand.

The voyage is part of the Ocean Survey 20/20 project, a 15-year Government project, established in 2004, to survey and explore New Zealand's oceans, to better manage and sustainably develop their resources.

Ocean water properties such as temperature are measured directly, while conductivity is used to tell us the salinity. It also captures water samples at different depths for a variety of chemical and biological measurements made either on the vessel or back in the laboratory.

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All staff working on this subject

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Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
Marine Mammal Acoustician
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
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Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) Numerical Modeller
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Marine Sedimentologist
General Manager - Operations
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
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Marine Physics Modeller
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Physical Oceanographer
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Marine Biologist (Biosecurity)
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Freshwater Fish Ecologist
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Principal Technician - Marine Geology
Algal Ecologist
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