Oceans

Recording old oceans centre tag.

Latest news

NIWA forecasters say a marine heatwave is forming around parts of New Zealand after sea surface temperatures (SSTs) warmed considerably last month.
Small orange flecks spotted floating around in a respiration chamber at a NIWA laboratory have led to a discovery about the spawning habits of a deep-sea stony coral in New Zealand waters.
A six-metre long orange underwater robot is flying through the Kaikōura Canyon for the next month collecting information on how the canyon has changed since the 2016 earthquake.
People along the Kapiti and Wanganui coast may spot NIWA’s research vessel Kaharoa operating close to shore in the next few weeks as scientists carry out a survey of snapper, tarakihi, red gurnard and John Dory.

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.

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

1. How do I get a copy of the MEC?
Ministry for the Environment (MfE) has distributed copies of the MEC to all levels of national and local government, as well as to government departments and agencies. If you work for one of those agencies, then you will have a copy; check with your IT department. Otherwise, copies of the DVD can be obtained from Kirsty Johnston at MfE ([email protected]).
2. What are the system requirements for the MEC?
The MEC is delivered as GIS layers in ESRI shapefile and grid format.

The Marine Environment Classification (MEC), a GIS-based environmental classification of the marine environment of the New Zealand region, is an ecosystem-based spatial framework designed for marine management purposes.

International voyage to probe methane deposits

International voyage to probe methane deposits

Onboard RV Sonne in Wellington. (Photo: Kate Whitley, GNS Science)

NIWA scientists joined colleagues from Europe, New Zealand, and Australia onboard the German research vessel RV Sonne last month to investigate methane deposits beneath New Zealand’s seafloor.
The three-month voyage will gather geophysical, geochemical, and biological data from methane seeps and hydrate deposits along the seafloor between Wellington and Gisborne.

Smart buoy for coastal monitoring

Smart buoy for coastal monitoring

Solar-powered C-SMART buoy.

NIWA Instrument Systems is developing a surface buoy to collect real-time coastal data on such things as weather, currents, waves, and water conditions.
Dubbed ‘C–SMART’ (Coastal Scientific Monitoring And Real-time Telemetry), the buoy will gather, process, and transmit data from sensors both above and below water.
Smart buoys are not new, but most are large, cumbersome, and expensive to develop and support.

Better tools mean improved knowledge and services

Better tools mean improved knowledge and services
Environmental research and consultancy is increasingly moving from an era of ‘occasional observation’ to ‘realtime monitoring’, allowing better understanding and decision-making about environmental management.
For the marine environment, where data-gathering is inherently more difficult and expensive, continued investment in new instruments with capability for in situ and real-time monitoring is crucial.
We can also now access better and more sophisticated computer models to predict the causes and consequences of envi

Getting intimate with aquatic sediments

Getting intimate with aquatic sediments

The Unisense profiler’s microsensors can measure a range of variables. (Photo: Lee Bryant, Virginia Polytechnic Institute)

NIWA’s new micro-profiler enables us to study biogeochemical processes in aquatic sediments at a remarkably fine scale.
The profiler can take measurements on the seabed (or lake floor) in up to 100 m water depth. Several microsensors automatically probe into the sediment at increments of as little as 50 micrometres (about the width of a human hair).

What happens to nutrients in estuaries?

What happens to nutrients in estuaries?

Estimated concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) (top) and phytoflagellates (phytoplankton, bottom) in the Firth of Thames.

Recent modelling by NIWA scientists is improving our understanding of nutrient cycling in estuaries.
Many estuaries around New Zealand are receiving increased nutrient inputs from their catchments.

Measuring trace gases in the open ocean

Measuring trace gases in the open ocean

A semi-autonomous analytical instrument developed by NIWA is being used to measure key trace gases in the open ocean, allowing us to determine how important the oceanic source of these gases is relative to emissions by humans.
We’re using the instrument to take continuous measurements of methane and nitrous oxide (both greenhouse gases), and carbon monoxide (important in the atmosphere’s chemistry) in air and surface waters around New Zealand over periods of 6–7 days.

Revealing the forces that shape beaches

Revealing the forces that shape beaches

A time-averaged picture of Tairua Beach. The two white bands indicate the positions of the shoreline (left) and sandbar (right). Hourly Cam-Era images from eight New Zealand beaches can be accessed from the Cam-era website.

Understanding what causes some parts of beaches to erode and others to build up is important for coastal dwellers and developers.

Predicting ocean nutrient levels

Predicting ocean nutrient levels

Repeated measurements of temperature and nitrate concentrations were made on transects sailed by Tangaroa and Munida in subtropical (S2 ) and subantarctic (S4) waters and the Subtropical Front (S3) southeast of New Zealand.

Nitrate availability is one of the main factors controlling primary productivity in the world’s oceans. We are using NIWA datasets to better understand variability in concentrations of this important nutrient.

Backscatter workshop a success

Backscatter workshop a success

The workshop had a strong practical component. Participants from a range of agencies had the chance to use the latest advanced backscatter processing software (SonarScope) developed at IFREMER.

It was an intensive day. On 9 November, about 35 people attended a workshop on processing and use of sonar backscatter for advanced seafloor mapping at NIWA’s Greta Point campus.

Monitoring the sea level

Monitoring the sea level

Sea-level monitoring station at Charleston (west coast).

NIWA coordinates a network of 20 open coast sea-level recorders around New Zealand, including the Chatham Islands, and Antarctica (Scott Base). The recorders collect accurate measurements of sea level and tides for monitoring coastal hazards such as storm surge and tsunami, and studying longer-term coastal processes, including El Niño effects and sea-level rise. Data are uploaded nightly and some sites are displayed at www.niwascience.co.nz/services/sealevels.

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

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

NIWA will host a two-day workshop next year through the National Centre for Water Resources and National Centre for Coasts & Oceans to highlight issues around managing the effects of land use and the transfer of these effects to the coastal environment.
When: 4–5 May 2006
Where: Te Papa, Wellington
Further details will be announced shortly.

Myriad applications for isotope analysis

Myriad applications for isotope analysis

NIWA’s New Wave micromill is used to prepare microsamples for chemical and isotopic analysis. Complex structures can be sampled with submicron stage resolution and positional accuracy. Pictured clockwise top to bottom are: speleothem (being milled), bamboo coral sections, a galaxid otolith, a pair of pilchard otoliths.

NIWA is the leading institute in New Zealand doing high resolution analysis of stable isotopes in carbonates to identify environmental change over timescales of tens to thousands of years.

When paua seek a home

When paua seek a home

This map shows a snapshot of modelled larval distribution. Blue areas have the least larvae; red areas have the most. The arrows show the direction and speed of currents. An eddy has formed in the lee of the headland at the entrance to Tolaga Bay and larvae are concentrating near the centre of the eddy.

Shellfish larvae are transported along the coast by marine currents, but how far do the larvae spread and how effectively do they settle?

Hear world experts on seafloor mapping

Hear world experts on seafloor mapping

Xavier Lurton and Jean-Marie Augustin from IFREMER, the French Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea, are visiting NIWA under the Royal Society ISAT programme. They will present a one-day workshop on the processing and use of multibeam backscatter imagery for seafloor substrate mapping.
When: Wednesday, 9 November
Where: NIWA, Greta Point, Wellington
Attendance, including lunch, is free. Registrations are required by 1 November. www.niwascience.co.nz/ncco/courses

Modelling aquaculture effects in the Firth of Thames

Modelling aquaculture effects in the Firth of Thames
A new simulation model of nutrient and phytoplankton dynamics developed by NIWA is being used in the Firth of Thames.

Time & depth averaged simulated concentrations of dinoflagellates, dissolved inorganic nitrogen, diatoms, and phytoflagellates in the Firth of Thames, May 2003. The scale is the log of the concentration in milligrams per cubic metre. This work was funded by the Auckland Regional Council, Environment Waikato, and the Western Firth Marine Farming Consortium.

Pages

 

All staff working on this subject

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