marine science and the coast


NEWPORT, Ore. - Information from an undersea monitor engulfed in lava during a deep ocean volcanic blowout is giving scientists their first-ever detailed view of an undersea eruption.

Researchers from Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are publishing results obtained from the volcanic system monitor data on Thursday in the journal Nature. The team is based at OSU's Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

The paper, "Direct Observation of a Submarine Volcanic Eruption from a Sea-floor Instrument Caught in a Lava Flow," was written by Christopher G. Fox, an OSU associate professor of oceanic and atmospheric sciences and part of NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, volcanologist William W. Chadwick Jr. of OSU's Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies, and Robert W. Embley, a marine geologist from the NOAA Vents Program and a professor of oceanic and atmospheric sciences. Fox is principal investigator for the study.

The paper describes in detail the results obtained from the NOAA device during an active eruption in 1998. The site of the eruption was Axial volcano, along the Juan de Fuca Ridge seafloor spreading center, located about 300 miles offshore from Cannon Beach, Ore. This volcano has been the focus of a long-term NOAA research effort, called the Vents Program, that seeks to understand the mechanisms by which the earth's interior exchanges heat and chemicals with the earth's surface through seafloor spreading centers.

The site was selected for study because geological evidence indicated Axial volcano to be potentially one of the most active in the deep sea and is also located near enough to the West Coast to be accessible by oceanographic vessels.

"We began monitoring Axial in 1987, using simple bottom pressure recorders to measure the long-term vertical movements of the seafloor associated with magma transport within the volcano," Fox said. "We never expected to get this close a look at the eruptive process."

Previously, vertical motions were detected by Fox's instruments and interpreted to represent magma movements, but not until 1998 did an actual eruption occur to confirm this hypothesis.

NOAA scientists acoustically detected the 1998 eruption through their access to the Navy's SOund SUrveillance System of underwater hydrophones - or SOSUS.

The seafloor sensor that was trapped in the lava flow is formally known as a volcanic system monitor but is often referred to as a "rumbleometer" because of sensors that record volcanic shaking. The sensor was installed on Axial's summit in October 1997 to continue the decade-long effort begun in 1987.

The precise location of the sensor was based on geological and geophysical measurements and was interpreted to overlie the magma center, Fox said. Following the eruption, NOAA vessels visited the site and attempted to recover the instrument.

Although the monitor responded to signals from the vessels, it would not release to the surface. Later investigations using a remotely operated vehicle revealed that the monitor was trapped in the lava flow up to the level of the anchor and was unable to release to the surface. Scientists formulated a plan to recover the instrument in 1999 using the remotely operated vehicle and a powerful ship's winch, and the whole package was recovered with very little visible damage, Fox said.

More surprisingly, "much of the data were intact, in particular the pressure data (which indicates height of the instrument) and the temperature data." Fox said.

The recovered data give a detailed view of the dynamics of a deep ocean volcanic eruption.

Initially, the very thin lava ran beneath the instrument platform and surrounded three legs that stand only 18 inches high. As the edges of the flow cooled and solidified, the lava flow "inflated" and lifted the instrument nearly 10 feet above its initial position in slightly more than one hour. Then the lava supply decreased and "drainback" of the lava began, gently lowering the instrument back to the seafloor in less than two hours, leaving the instrument a little more than three feet above its original position.

Although the instrument was in direct contact with the lava, the temperature probe located within the instrument only rose a maximum of 45.5 degrees during the eruption, perhaps explaining how the onboard data survived, scientists said.

Later field observations of the extent and thickness of the lava flow confirm the details of this scenario, but "without the survival of the rumbleometer, we would never know the time scale of the activity," Fox said.

In addition to the information on the flow itself, the long-term pressure record, in conjunction with other instruments deployed around the volcano by NOAA's Vents Program, provided a picture of what was happening to the magma in the subsurface, making the 1998 Axial event the first deep submarine eruption ever recorded.

"It is doubtful that we will ever be clever enough to intentionally place an instrument in an active submarine lava flow, so this serendipitous recording becomes a benchmark in our understanding of submarine volcanism," Fox said.

NOAA and OSU are expanding monitoring efforts on Axial volcano through the New Millennium Observatory Project. More information on the project can be found on the Web, with a fly-through animation of the "rumbleometer" site.


Christopher Fox, 541-867-0276


CORVALLIS, Ore. - The record return of coho and chinook salmon to the Oregon coast has been credited to superb ocean conditions as returning salmon encounter a virtual smorgasbord of herring, anchovies, zooplankton and even sardines, which had virtually disappeared from West Coast waters.

Now an interdisciplinary, inter-agency group of scientists believe they may have an answer for why the ocean conditions are so bountiful. They call it a "climate regime shift."

From 1977 to 1998, the low pressure system that sits off Alaska's Kodiak Island every winter - known as the Aleutian Low - was larger and more intense than it had been since the mid-1940s, according to William T. Peterson, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

This 1,000-mile wide low pressure system was characterized by strong, circling winds that pushed nutrient-rich waters north into Alaska and delayed the upwelling off Oregon and Washington which helps feed the nutrient cycle in spring and summer. The effect created good ocean conditions for salmon in Alaskan waters, while less-than-ideal conditions off Oregon and Washington.

The Aleutian Low became even larger and more intense in the fall and winter of 1997-98, during a strong El Nino episode.

Then in the winter of 1999, the pressure system suddenly shifted west to Kamchatka, a Russian peninsula. And the ocean conditions - and biology - changed almost overnight. Different zooplankton appeared off the Pacific Northwest coast, and in much greater numbers, the scientists say.

"During much of this intense Aleutian low period, the waters off the Oregon coast were dominated by 'southern' copepods that are more common off central California," said Peterson, who also is a professor in the OSU College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. "These species are typical of weak currents, weak upwelling warm water and low productivity. Then, in 1999, bang. Overnight the southern copepods disappeared and were replaced by boreal, or northern copepods.

"The actual biomass of the copepods has doubled in the last couple of years," Peterson added. "And suddenly, the anchovies begin to spawn again, herring are everywhere, and sardines have flourished."

This intersection between ocean conditions and biology is of particular interests to scientists involved with the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics, or GLOBEC program. Funded by the National Science Foundation and NOAA, GLOBEC is a national program that has West Coast components in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

Richard Brodeur, a NOAA fisheries biologist who also has a courtesy faculty appointment at OSU, studies salmon survival and feeding habits in the ocean. During the 1980s and most of the 1990s, the poor ocean conditions led to a low survival rate, he said. During the El Nino year of 1998, things hit rock bottom.

"When we looked inside the stomachs of juvenile salmon that had entered the ocean in 1998, they were pretty empty," Brodeur said. "They had some small prey - a few juvenile rockfish - but mostly small copepods and jellyfish. It wasn't their usual diet."

What salmon usually eat, Brodeur said, are juvenile rockfish, smelt, anchovies, sardines, crab larvae and krill. Starting in 1999, those prey reappeared in the stomachs of fish the scientists examined.

"Having an abundance of baitfish actually does two things," Brodeur said. "They obviously are an important food source for the juvenile salmon. Salmon need to grow fast early on to avoid becoming prey of other fish and birds.

"Baitfish have another useful purpose," Brodeur added. "When they are abundant, they become an alternate prey for birds and groundfish like rockfish and hake that may eat them instead of juvenile salmon."

The biological chain of events boosting salmon runs seems fairly clear. The abundant reappearance of northern copepods off the Northwest coast has led to huge numbers of "baitfish," including herring, anchovies and sardines. The presence of these baitfish appears to significantly boost salmon survival in the ocean.

The climatic and oceanic mechanisms behind this phenomenon are not as clear, the scientists say.

"These 'regime shifts' are part of a cycle, but we don't have enough data to know much about them historically," Peterson said. "We know there were Aleutian low pressure cycles from approximately 1923-47, and from 1977-98, but we don't know their history prior to the 1920s. And we think they typically last about 20 to 25 years, but what triggers these shifts - both in and out of the cycles - is still a mystery."

One way physical oceanographers track changes in the ocean is through an index called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which monitors several conditions, including sea surface temperatures. From the period of 1977-1998, every year was warmer than normal except one, Peterson pointed out. For the past three years - including 2001 - the waters off Oregon have been colder than normal.

"When things shifted in 1999, the California Current became stronger," Peterson said. "There was more upwelling, more nutrients and greater productivity and - equally important - an infusion of northern copepods from the Gulf of Alaska.

"Not coincidentally, ocean conditions for salmon in Alaska began to decline at the same time."

Ted Strub, a professor of oceanic and atmospheric sciences at OSU, has monitored changes in the Pacific in another way - the height of the ocean - measured by the TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter. It is the same satellite that first detected the El Nino signal in the western equatorial Pacific in early 1997.

"There is no question that ocean conditions are different from what they were for most of 1977-98," Strub said. "Our satellite data shows that since 1998, the coastal ocean off the U.S. west coast is a few centimeters lower than it was from 1993-98, the beginning of the TOPEX data. That's because water becomes denser as it gets colder, occupying less space."

Strub says studying ocean conditions is like listening to music. There are different frequencies and layers that - examined separately - don't fully represent the big picture.

"If you look at the climatic effect, for example, you have to look at 20- to 25-year cycles, then overlay the influence of El Nino and La Nina events, which have a three- to seven-year time scale, and then look at seasonal variations, which are enormous," Strub said. "Satellite data only go back 10-20 years, so we're just now beginning to get the baseline data that we need.

"A hundred years from now, we may understand how all this works."

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Bill Peterson, 541-867-0201


CORVALLIS - From tiny, tenacious mollusks, to foreign grasses that choke lakes and streams, to voracious, exotic crabs, biological invaders are infiltrating waterways the world around.

A new video from Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University aims to help halt the invasion by teaching people the importance of early detection and response.

A 23-minute video called "You Ought to Tell Somebody!" presents an overview of the problem of invasive aquatic plants and animals and provides identification and information about one significant West Coast threat, the Chinese mitten crab.

Species evolve by adapting to their local habitats. New species, often introduced by human activity, can wreak havoc by disrupting ecological balance, crowding out native species and interfering with the food chain. "Invader" species can displace native plants and animals, dramatically change natural habitats and have profound impacts on the economy.

The Sea Grant video uses the story - and dramatic footage - of the Chinese mitten crab to illustrate how quickly new species can take hold in an area, and how difficult they can be to eradicate once that happens.

The video is aimed at those involved in water-quality monitoring, field educators, aquaculture operators and others who spend time in lakes, rivers and estuaries.

"You Ought to Tell Somebody!" catalog number ORESU-V-01-002, is available from Oregon Sea Grant for $18.95 plus shipping and handling; bulk discounts are available. For ordering information contact Oregon Sea Grant 541-737-2716 or (within Oregon and Washington) toll-free at 1-800-375-9360. The video may also be ordered through the Oregon Sea Grant Web site.

Oregon Sea Grant is an OSU-based ocean and coastal research and outreach program, part of a national network of Sea Grant College Programs organized under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Paul Heimowitz, 503-722-6718


CORVALLIS - A new database intended to highlight the work of ocean and coastal researchers in Oregon goes on line this month at the Oregon Sea Grant web site.

Called "Making a Difference," the system allows visitors to explore Sea Grant-sponsored research, outreach, and educational projects in words, pictures and multimedia clips. The system can be accessed at http://seagrant.orst.edu/makingadifference.

The new Sea Grant system is similar to "Oregon Invests!," a database developed in the 1990s by the College of Agricultural Sciences to demonstrate the value of Oregon State University's agricultural research and extension efforts.

Like that system, "Making a Difference" captures information about Sea Grant-funded research and outreach projects and makes it accessible via a graphical, web-based interface that allows visitors to search for projects by a variety of keywords and fields. It also gives researchers password-protected access to provide project updates and reports.

The database contains:

  • Detailed summaries of Sea Grant-funded research, education and outreach projects, searchable by topic, investigator, institution and keyword. 
  • Links to on-line publications, Web resources and other project-related information.
  • Photos and multimedia material to help illustrate key stories.

"We view this as an important step toward providing accountability for projects we sponsor," said Jan Auyong, Sea Grant's assistant director for programs, who has been working on "Making a Difference" since 1998. The system includes information about projects funded over the past decade and eventually will include historical details about research results going back to Sea Grant's establishment in 1968.

Oregon Sea Grant disseminates more than $1 million a year in competitive research grants to scientists at OSU and other Oregon institutions of higher education, and sponsors a number of graduate student fellowships and internships. In addition, Sea Grant helps support OSU Extension faculty in marine-related specialties on campus and in each of Oregon's coastal counties, and its communications arm functions as a small press, producing books, brochures, videos and multimedia projects on ocean and coastal topics.

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Jan Auyong, 541-737-5130


CORVALLIS - A new $2.6 million grant, just announced by the National Science Foundation, will help students unlock the mysteries of life beneath the surface of the Earth.

The five-year award will enable an international team of scientists to construct a graduate student training program that could lead to innovations in safer drinking water, handling of toxic wastes, improved soil and crops and in countless other fields, said Martin Fisk, an Oregon State University professor of oceanic and atmospheric sciences and principal investigator for the project.

OSU and Portland State University are the project's sponsors. Participants in the effort come from research institutions throughout the world, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Norway's University of Bergen, the United Kingdom's University of Bristol and Sweden's University of Gothenburg.

Fifteen doctoral students a year will be trained by internationally recognized engineers, microbiologists, geologists, oceanographers, geochemists, soil scientists and hydrologists, said Anna-Louise Reysenbach, co-principal investigator and assistant professor of environmental biology at PSU. The idea is to prepare doctoral students for the next generation of research by bridging the gap between traditional disciplines, Reysenbach said. Student preparation will be broadened with a new subsurface biosphere integrated major with five related components.

Components include group training and courses that link microbial with physical and chemical processes and international internships and field programs.

"Science is in an increasing trend to be more interdisciplinary," she said. "We are excited about increasing our research capacity with some good integrated collaborative efforts between OSU and Portland State and other institutions."

The NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training grant will help fund research into an area that is right under our feet but has been virtually ignored for decades, Fisk said.

"We're trying to understand the entire subsurface biosphere in our project, 'Earth's Subsurface Biosphere: Coupling of Microbial, Geophysical and Geochemical Processes,'" he said. "It turns out there is a huge amount of biomass beneath the surface and 10 years ago, people weren't even looking for it."

Researchers have found that there are about a billion microbes per quarter teaspoon at the ocean floor, Fisk said, but even a mile below the seafloor there are still about one million bacteria in the same-sized sample.

Fisk said expanding the program outside the confines of OSU faculty and facilities was a natural progression.

The idea for a subsurface biosphere grant came from a discussion with Stephen Giovannoni, an OSU professor of microbiology, and Lewis Semprini, OSU professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering. Both men are co-principal investigators for the project.

"We knew three faculty members at PSU and many more at OSU who had worked in these areas," Fisk said.

As part of their training, three students will enroll at Portland, while the remaining 12 will enroll at Oregon State, Fisk said. However, scientists and students at both institutions will keep in close contact and will collaborate throughout the program. Students will be encouraged to use video conferencing technology to enhance communication, Fisk said.

In addition to the NSF graduate training grant, the OSU graduate school has contributed matching funds for tuition waivers for students, Fisk said. The OSU Office of Research and the OSU Colleges of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Science, Engineering and Agriculture, as well as Portland State have also contributed funds to support the program.

In addition to Fisk, Reysenbach, Giovannoni and Semprini, Peter Bottomley, an OSU professor of microbiology is also a co-principal investigator on the project. Ten additional faculty members at OSU, three at PSU and three at European universities will also participate in the program.

The OSU College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences has been ranked fifth in the U.S. by the National Research Council. The college presently has 67 faculty, 90 graduate students, and receives about $25 million in annual research funding. A number of undergraduate students pursue minors in the college. The university's Colleges of Agriculture, Engineering and Science are also nationally ranked.

Portland State is the lead graduate and undergraduate institution in the Portland area and has one of the nation's fastest rates of growth in securing competitive research grants and contracts. The university recently established the Center for Life in Extreme Environments, whose mission is to foster interdisciplinary research in extreme environments. All PSU co-principal investigators in the sub-surface project are members of the center.


Martin Fisk, 541-737-5208

Coastal hazards, geology focus of HMSC series

NEWPORT - Winter visitors to the Oregon coast can learn how the coast was formed - and how it is still being formed - in a series of exhibits, lectures and special events at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center in Newport.

"Coastal Hazards" is the focus of displays, exhibits, special events and lectures taking place at the center through March. The HMSC Visitor Center is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays all winter. Admission is free, although donations are suggested.

The Coastal Hazards activities kick off Saturday, Jan. 29, with a pair of talks by Eugene fossil expert Dr. William Orr, along with an opportunity for visitors to bring in their own fossils and beach finds for identification.

Orr is a University of Oregon professor of oceanography, geology and paleontology, and director of the Thomas Condon State Museum of Fossils in Eugene. He has written 80 articles and collaborated with his wife, Elizabeth, on six books, mainly on the geology of the Northwest.

Beginning at 1 p.m., Orr will talk about how scientists believe Oregon's Coast Range was created, and how that history ties to monster earthquakes still possible today. The lecture, "Oregon's Coast Range Rising to the Occasion," will focus on the geologic forces at work in the Coast Range.

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, Orr will discuss "Oregon Fossils and Volcanics: Yin and Yang," a talk about how the high quality and diversity of fossils found in the region may be the result of the volcanic activity over the last 400 million years.

Visitors are invited to bring in fossils and other items they've found on the beach for identification by HMSC marine educators that Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local fossil and rock enthusiasts will also have their collections on display.

Through March, the Visitor Center will feature exhibits and hands-on science activities focused on coastal geology. Displays include photographs of ancient stumps and snags from uplifted trees uncovered during extreme coastal erosion, samples of local rocks and fossils, tsunami hazards maps of the Yaquina and Siletz Bays, and earthquake hazard maps. Films on tsunamis, undersea volcanoes and fossils will be shown regularly in the HMSC auditorium.

For more information call 541-867-0271.


Hatfield Marine Science Center, 541-867-0271

OSU's Lubchenco to deliver May 9 Byrne Lecture

CORVALLIS - Jane Lubchenco, a world-renowned environmental scientist, will discuss "Uncharted Seas: Navigating the Future of the Oceans" on Tuesday, May 9, at the Construction and Engineering Auditorium in Oregon State University's LaSells Stewart Center.

The lecture, which starts at 7:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. It is the latest in a series of John V. Byrne lectures on ocean science and public policy sponsored by Oregon Sea Grant and the OSU College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.

Lubchenco, an OSU Distinguished Professor of Zoology and Wayne & Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology, is internationally known for her efforts to increase understanding of the natural dynamics of Earth's ecosystems. She is involved in global efforts to find new approaches to improving human health, prosperity and well-being without disrupting the function of ecological systems upon which life depends.

Her research has focused on the evolutionary ecology of individuals, populations and communities; biodiversity, conservation biology, and global change, and related subjects.

Among her many activities, Lubchenco chairs the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, an advanced leadership and communications training program for environmental scientists. She is co-chair of a National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis working group on "Developing the Theory of Marine Reserves," a member of the National Science Board and chair of its Task Force on the Environment, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lubchenco is the fourth lecturer in the Byrne series, named after John Byrne, OSU president from 1984-95. A marine geologist, Byrne was the first head of OSU's Oceanography Department (1972) and subsequently served as dean of research, acting dean of the Graduate School, and vice president for research and graduate studies.

Oregon Sea Grant and COAS established the lecture series to increase public awareness and discussion of current scientific and public policy issues concerning the ocean and atmosphere and related subjects.

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Jane Lubchenco, 541-737-5337

Testing continues at OSU fish lab; fact sheet now available

CORVALLIS - A multi-agency task force looking for the cause of an unusually high rate of cancer in trout at an Oregon State University research laboratory this spring is continuing to investigate the problem.

A fact sheet has been published to help area residents better understand the situation and what steps the task force is taking to address it.

The fact sheet is available by calling John McEvoy, Linn County Health Department, 541-967-3821; Robert Wilson, Benton County Health Department, 541-766-6841; or Duncan Gilroy, Oregon Health Division, 503-731-4015.

The Department of Environmental Quality recently tested the lab's well water and found no contaminants. Testing of tissues from the affected fish revealed no clues either, said Larry Curtis, chair of the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at OSU and chair of the task force.

"It is very possible that what has triggered the two episodes that we know about is intermittent - and conceivably related to seasonally high water," Curtis said. "We may have a better shot at identifying the contaminant if we get a period of unusually wet weather."

In December of 1998, a contaminant killed thousands of rainbow trout in the OSU research lab, located one mile east of Corvallis off Highway 34. This spring, researchers at the lab discovered a number of symptoms in the fish, including high mortality, altered growth, anemia and other physical deformities. After conducting autopsies, they discovered cancerous tumors at a rate 100 times higher than normal.

The university immediately notified the Department of Environmental Quality, the Oregon Health Division, and the Linn and Benton county health departments. A task force comprised of representatives of those agencies and OSU was formed.

"It may be quite a while before we have the information we need to fully evaluate the potential health risks," said Grant Higginson, health officer with the Oregon Health Division in Portland. "Until more facts are known, we are encouraging people with private wells in the area to consider using bottled water for drinking and cooking, as a precaution."

The task force is continuing to investigate the water source and fish tissues. Scientists also are studying the shallow aquifer that provides well water to the area.

Gilroy, state toxicologist for the OHD, coordinated the publication of the fact sheet.

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Duncan Gilroy, 503-731-4015

Researchers track path of tidal energy

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The moon's gravity imparts tremendous energy to the Earth, raising tides throughout the global oceans. What happens to all this energy is a question that has been pondered by scientists for more than 200 years, and has consequences ranging from the history of the moon to the mixing of the oceans.

Richard Ray of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and Gary Egbert of the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University studied six years of altimeter data from the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite to address this question.

Their findings, reported in the June 15 issue of Nature, show that about 1 "terawatt," or 25 to 30 percent of the total tidal energy dissipation, occurs in the deep ocean. The remainder occurs in shallow seas, such as on the Patagonian Shelf. A terawatt is enough energy to light 10 billion 100-watt light bulbs.

"By measuring sea level with the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimeter, our knowledge of the tides in the global ocean has been remarkably improved," said Richard Ray, a geophysicist at Goddard. The accuracy is now so high that this data can be used to map empirically the tidal energy dissipation. The deep-water tidal dissipation occurs generally near rugged bottom topography such as seamounts and mid-ocean ridges.

"The observed pattern of deep-ocean dissipation is consistent with topographic scattering of tidal energy into internal motions within the water column, resulting in localized turbulence and mixing", said Egbert, an associate professor at OSU.

One important implication of this finding concerns the possible energy sources needed to maintain the ocean's large-scale "conveyor-belt" circulation and to mix upper ocean heat into the abyssal depths. It is thought that 2 terawatts are required for this process. The winds supply about 1 terawatt, and there has been speculation that the tides, by pumping energy into vertical water motions, supply the remainder. However, all current general circulation models of the oceans ignore the tides.

"It is possible that properly accounting for tidally induced ocean mixing may have important implications for long-term climate modeling," Egbert said.

In the past, most geophysical theories held that the only significant tidal energy sink was bottom friction in shallow seas.

Egbert and Ray find the sink is dominant, but it is not the whole story. There had always been suggestive evidence that tidal energy is also dissipated in the open ocean to create internal waves, but published estimates of this effect varied widely and had met with no general consensus before TOPEX/POSEIDON.

The TOPEX/POSEIDON mission, a joint U.S.-French initiative, is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The satellite was launched in August 1992, and it continues to produce sea level measurements of the highest quality. For supporting images: ftp://geodesy.gsfc.nasa.gov/dist/ray/Lynn/.


Gary Egbert, 541-737-2947

Global fisheries conference at OSU to host Newport session

CORVALLIS - The International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) is holding its 10th biennial conference at Oregon State University July 10-14 in Corvallis - the organization's first meeting in the U.S. since its initial conference in Alaska in 1982.

More than 500 participants from 45 countries are expected for the conference, which will look at issues ranging from fishery stocks to subsistence whaling. Conference details are available on the web at http://osu.orst.edu/Dept/IIFET/2000

On Friday, July 14, the conference will come to OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport for a special colloquium on the "History of the West Coast Fishing Industry." This event will feature presentations by prominent members of the Oregon and West Coast industries and associated organizations. The schedule follows:

  • 9 a.m.: Opening remarks, Barry Fisher, Midwater Trawlers Cooperative
  • 9:15 a.m.: Joe Easley, commercial fisherman and administrator, Oregon Trawl Commission. An overview of the trawl fishery on the West Coast from it's start in San Francisco Bay, up to the start of the joint ventures in the late 1970s.
  • 9:30 a.m.: Barry Fisher, commercial fisherman and president, Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, Newport. The groundfish sector just before and after the Magnuson Act: structural changes in the fleet, how it fishes and what it catches; some East Coast - West Coast comparisons.
  • 9:45 a.m.: Ralph Brown, commercial fisherman, Coos Bay and PFMC member. Fishing under the federal management structure: the mid-1980s to the present.
  • 10 a.m.: Discussion, followed by coffee.
  • 11 a.m.: Susan Hanna, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at OSU. Setting the fishery management stage: comparing the West Coast with other regions.
  • 11:15 a.m.: Jim Branson, former executive director, North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The Alaska fisheries and their management: pre-statehood, under state management and post-Magnuson Act.
  • 11:30 a.m.: Bob Schoning, former director of the Oregon Fish Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service. More than 50 years of government fisheries service, then and now: state, federal and international levels.
  • 11:45 a.m.: Clinton Atkinson, former director, Montlake Fisheries Lab and former fisheries attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. The evolution of links with international fisheries: markets, treaties, research and fleets.
  • Noon: Discussion, followed by lunch. Following lunch, those who wish to pursue discussion begun in the morning may adjourn to Room 9 in the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The main session will continue in the auditorium.
  • 2 p.m.: John McGowan, former vice president of the Columbia River Packers Association and president of Bumble Bee Seafoods. The history of fish processing, especially canning, of Alaska, Washington and Oregon salmon and tuna.
  • 2:15 p.m.: Paul Heikkila, commercial fisherman and Coos County Extension agent. Ninety years of salmon trolling.
  • 2:30 p.m.: Lee Wiegardt, Wiegardt Brothers Oyster Company, Willapa Bay, Wash. The history of West Coast oyster production, processing and marketing.
  • 2:45 p.m.: Nick Furman, administrator, Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission and Oregon Albacore Commission. Development of crab and albacore fisheries of the West Coast (tentative).
  • 3 p.m.: Discussion, followed by coffee.
  • 4 p.m.: Zeke Grader, executive director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, San Francisco. History of seafood processing in California and Oregon.
  • 4:15 p.m.: Christopher DeWees, California Sea Grant program, Davis, Calif. The California fisheries: a historical perspective.
  • 4:30 p.m.: General Discussion

Sponsored by OSU and its Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), the Friday event is offered free to Oregon fishermen. However, space is limited so pre-registration is required by July 6. To register, call Pam Garland at 541-754-9080. As part of pre-registration, participants may purchase a box lunch for $10, or plan to bring along a sack lunch, enabling them to have an opportunity to interact informally with the international visitors and speakers.

For more information contact Ann L. Shriver, IIFET executive director, at 541-737-1416 or by e-mail fax at Ann.L.Shriver@orst.edu.

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Ann Shriver, 541-737-1416