Oceans

Recording old oceans centre tag.

Latest news

NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa will sail out of Wellington Harbour on Sunday for the first scientific voyage since the lockdown.
A deep dive into the collection of an Auckland War Memorial Museum has revealed an extremely rare albino shark.
A little can mean a lot – especially when it comes to the relationship between sea level rise and coastal flooding.
A giant squid and several glow-in-the-dark sharks were surprise finds for NIWA scientists last month on the Chatham Rise during a voyage to survey hoki, New Zealand’s most valuable commercial fish species.

Our work

Ocean acidification conditions around the New Zealand coast are being measured to establish baseline conditions and to quantify future change.
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.
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.

What lies beneath Wellington Harbour?

New insight on sediment processes

Recyclers of the coastal zone

The changing map of Antarctica

Mahia's nuisance sediment

Mahia’s nuisance sediment
 
Eroding cliffs – a possible sediment source on Mahia Peninsula. (Photo: Sheryl Miller, NIWA)

Mahia Peninsula, at the northern end of Hawke’s Bay, is renowned for its beautiful beaches and spectacular surf. But sedimentation is a big problem on some parts of the coast. The water is clouded by fine mud, and nearshore marine habitats such as rocky reefs are blanketed in sediment.

Special Issue - Effects of land-based activities on the coastal environment

Death of a thousand cuts - ecosystem disturbance

Of mud, mangroves, and radioisotopes

What risk to human health?

Rivers: the land-coast connection

Of mud, mangroves, and radioisotopes

Of mud, mangroves, and radioisotopes

Mangroves advancing in the Firth of Thames. (Photo: Andrew Swales, NIWA)

Many of New Zealand’s estuaries are becoming muddier, as sediment washes into them from rivers and stormwater drains and accumulates, rather than being dispersed by tides. Mangrove swamps are a feature of some of our muddy estuaries, and the Firth of Thames is a good example of a place where mangroves and mud are steadily accumulating.

Death of a thousand cuts - ecosystem disturbance

Death of a thousand cuts - ecosystem disturbance

Intertidal flats of Mahurangi Harbour. (Photo: Jane Halliday, NIWA)

‘The problem that resource managers face in trying to protect coastal environments is that damage is like death of a thousand cuts – it is often the result of many different small disturbances, the effects of which accumulate over time.’ So says NIWA scientist Simon Thrush, who is leading a long-term project on ecological disturbance modelling at NIWA.
Most environmental threats come in the form of some sort of disturbance to natural ecosystems.

Voyage Log and Latest Images
Voyage plot for RV Tangaroa.
Time: 2004-04-14 02:00:00
Position: 41 33. 36S 178 24. 00E
As time permitted, scientists on the SAGE voyage posted descriptions of their daily activities and images of the work they were doing. The voyage track shows the position of RV Tangaroa as the experiment progressed.Thursday, 15 April 2004The final dayAs the SAGE voyage comes to an end, it is only fitting that we have the best weather of the month. After all, we did ask for strong wind conditions to assist in giving high gas exchange, and we certainly got it.

National Centre timely, says Minister

New tool for marine conservation and management

Marine habitat mapping workshop

Mapping life on the Napier seafloor

Future waves

Wave rider buoy 'very valuable'

Finding sand to feed a growing city

Offshore exploration

Habitat mapping highlight

NIWA helps reduce exploration risk

Monitoring the sea level

Myriad applications for isotope analysis

Backscatter workshop a success

Effects of land-based activities on the coastal environment: issues & solutions

Mud and mangroves in the Firth of Thames

How toxic are heavy metals to estuary life?

A better picture for oil exploration

The Argonauts are back

Predicting ocean nutrient levels

Mammoth UNCLOS submission filed

Measuring trace gases in the open ocean

Mapping Marlborough's complex currents

Revealing the forces that shape beaches

All you ever wanted to know about estuaries...

Avon-Heathcote fish surveyed

Workshop explores coastal

Making the most of a little iron

Up until November 2008, this was a joint quarterly update from the National Centre for Coasts and the National Centre for Oceans. The publication facilitates public, industry, and governmental access to NIWA's expertise and knowledge in coastal and ocean research.

A better way to define the foreshore

New Zealand's icy visitors - past and present

International voyage to probe methane deposits

Customary Coastal Management Workshop

Estuary health check

Participating Organisations

NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), New Zealand
University of Otago, New Zealand
Australian Government Analytical Laboratory
Bureau of Meteorology, Australia
CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Australia
Southern Cross University, Australia
Dalhousie University, Canada
Laboratoire D'Océanographie Dynamique et de Climatologie (LODYC), France
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, United Kingdom
Princeton University, USA
RSMAS, University of Miami, USA
University of Colorado at Denver, USA
Univer

Wednesday, 14 April 2004
A view from the crew
This is the second of this type of research programme involving iron fertilisation that this crew have been involved in, with the first being SOIREE in 1999. The knowledge accumulated then has been useful to us this voyage. This is probably just as well since this one has, in many ways, been far more challenging. Probably the most notable difference, least not from the crew perspective, has been the weather. This time the Southern Ocean has been living up to its reputation.

Tuesday, 13 April 2004
Get more go on moorings
Sometimes the God of the Sea, Tangaroa, plays a vital role in deciding the milestones and outcomes of oceanographic voyages. Yesterday was a case in point with strong westerly winds and a heavy, rough sea, which prevented us from recovering and re-deploying one of NIWA’s two deep-ocean biophysical time-series moorings. These have been deployed in the open ocean east of New Zealand over the last 3.5 years.

Monday, 12 April 2004
Rolling with the punches
We had to leave the South Biophysical Mooring station before breakfast. The plan had been to conduct a deep CTD cast, and recover the mooring, but 50-knot winds and 6–8-metre swell prevented this. At sunrise the ship headed north to Chatham Rise. This resulted in the ship taking big rolls, hampering almost all activities, including sleeping. The rough sea did not however prevent deploying the second French Carioca Buoy in the area.

Sunday, 11 April 2004
Bunny hopping on the Southern Seas
Despite winds gusting to 50 knots and breaking waves reaching 6 m, and under conditions which seasoned 1st mate Alexander Morrice described from the bridge as “fierce to ferocious, becoming fantastic at times”, the Easter Bunny still managed to sneak in under the radar and visited the RV Tangaroa overnight. Little parcels of chocolate eggs were found taped outside everyone’s cabin doors.

Saturday, 10 April 2004
Steaming onwards
After a couple of pre-dawn CTD casts this morning, we slowed down to make measurements in the vicinity of the French CARIOCA buoy. We have finally left the patch that we’ve spent nearly 3 weeks chasing around this area of the South Pacific. We started to see increases in the number of phytoplankton cells toward the end of the patch experiment. It has been hypothesized that once the many cloudy days finally broke into sunshine, the phytoplankton were no longer light limited.

Friday, 9 April 2004
Sifting the seas
Today is our penultimate day of patch occupation! The SF6 shows that the patch is holding together fairly well, and the phytoplankton are still healthy. I measured the chlorophyll a concentration this morning in the patch and it hasn’t really changed significantly in two days. We are all still a little perplexed by why there hasn’t been a much larger increase in plankton, but it has certainly been interesting to follow and try to figure out.

Thursday, 8 April 2004
Scrutiny on the Bounty Trough
Careful what you wish for; you might just get it. We’ve had the extreme winds that gave us the high gas exchange we’d hoped for, putting folk on their backs, instruments on the deck and the ship hove to for a day. Then high mixing and rapid spreading, resulting in a highly mobile patch that led us a merry dance around an eddy. Now we need the biology to play ball.
Things here are looking positive, with the biological indicators moving in the right direction following the 4th iron addition two nights ago.

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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
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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
Principal Scientist - Marine Physics
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Physical Oceanographer
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Marine Biologist (Biosecurity)
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Freshwater Fish Ecologist
Principal Technician - Marine Geology
Algal Ecologist
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