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Tsunamis, giant waves caused by underwater earthquakes, speed across the ocean at 400 miles per hour. Early warning systems, such as NOAA’s DART systems, are key to saving lives. Today, 47 DART stations are...
This image shows four tropical storm systems in the Atlantic Ocean basin on...
From the water, red mangroves appear to form an impenetrable tangle of roots,...
At the entrance of most beaches, there is a bulletin board with notices about...

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When hurricanes blow through an area, they don’t just have an impact on humans. These intense wind events also cause great damage to the ecosystems (pdf) they touch. They harm marine animals by spewing pollution and debris onto...
Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to...
What do you get when you mix together a hurricane, the remnants of a wintry...

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We all know that hurricanes can have destructive effects on human communities and infrastructure—but what about their...

The Ocean Blog

Since 1902, more than 40 centimeters of mangrove peat could have accumulated at the Belize site, enough to entrap and bury small pieces of pumice. But Juan’s vexing questions persisted: Why hadn’t...
A tsunami is a set of waves created by a disturbance, likely an earthquake, which reaches the surface of the sea.
Dr. Isaac Ginis, an expert in hurricane modeling from The University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, is the second featured speaker in Changing Tides: A Series of Ocean Discussions...
We all know that hurricanes can have destructive effects on human communities and infrastructure—but what about their effects on coastal wetlands? Until Hurricane Katrina, no one had ever mapped...
What do you get when you mix together a hurricane, the remnants of a wintry midwestern storm, and cold Arctic air? The " Frankenstorm ," which is what the US National Weather Service renamed...
This map shows volcanoes of Central America and within the Caribbean Sea. The red triangles represent volcanoes known to have erupted in recent time (within the last 10,000 years) and white stars are...
But what path, precisely, did this pumice take to reach Belize from the Guatemalan Highlands? Maps of drainage networks that reach the Gulf of Honduras and currents in the western Caribbean Sea are...
Tsunamis, giant waves caused by underwater earthquakes, speed across the ocean at 400 miles per hour. Early warning systems, such as NOAA’s DART systems, are key to saving lives. Today, 47 DART...
As a geological oceanographer at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Dr. Maggie Toscano has made a career of documenting how coastal systems have changed over thousands of years in...
Using maps and graphics, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Liz Cottrell provides an overview of the major earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011—one of the largest ever recorded globally...
When hurricanes blow through an area, they don’t just have an impact on humans. These intense wind events also cause great damage to the ecosystems (pdf) they touch. They harm marine animals by...
Even when viewed from space, Hurricane Irene looks sizable. When a NASA satellite took this image on August 23, 2011 the storm was 410 miles in diameter, with clouds covering eastern Cuba. Irene is...
This image shows four tropical storm systems in the Atlantic Ocean basin on September 8, 2011. In this arresting image you can see Maria, Katia, Nate, and Lee--all four storm systems--in one NOAA...
I became interested in weather phenomena when I took physics in high school. At the time, I just wanted to understand how various things in nature worked. Unfortunately, most information about...
PAST PROGRAMS IN THE SERIES CREDIT: E. Widder, ORCA, www.teamorca.org November 8, 2012 Bioluminescence in Art and Science Light made by living organisms is both scientifically illuminating and...
From the water, red mangroves appear to form an impenetrable tangle of roots, trunks, and leaves—a protective barrier against storms and tsunamis. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves...
At the entrance of most beaches, there is a bulletin board with notices about water conditions: maybe a faded sign warning about rip currents and a list of this week's tide tables. Most people pass...
Robotic gliders allow researchers to collect data in severe weather conditions without risking lives. In 2009 Hurricane Bill passed to the north during the Scarlet Knight’s mission, producing large...
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