Coasts and Oceans frequently asked questions

A collection of answers to commonly-asked questions relating to our coasts and oceans work, including 'What is a mass spectrometer?' and 'What is ocean acidification?'

Much of NIWA's science uses an instrument known as a mass spectrometer. But what is a mass spectrometer, and how to they work?

Icebergs approach New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands every few years.
A powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake ruptured the seafloor south of Samoa on 30 September 2009, unleashing a destructive tsunami on Samoa, American Samoa, and northern Tonga (Niuatoputapu).
Ocean acidification is the name given to the lowering of pH of the oceans as a result of increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

First we must be able to recognise if a species is new to science. There are several steps to the process.

Multibeam echo sounders emit a fan of sound beams to the seafloor to scan a wide swath of the seabed in great detail. 

Styela clava at Viaduct Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand.