Benthic habitats

The findings of the most complex underwater coastal survey of the seafloor undertaken in New Zealand, including previously undiscovered natural features and sunken boats, are to be formally presented to the Marlborough community tomorrow.
One of the most challenging scientific underwater experiments ever attempted by NIWA is taking place this month on the Chatham Rise.
The R V Tangaroa headed to the Chatham Rise from 9 May to 7 June 2018 to measure and monitor the effects of seabed disturbance on sealife.

Think about a futuristic world where at night time, people use different kind of self-propelled vehicles to hover across cities, illuminating the skies with different colours and shapes, while transiting around them.

Scientists exploring the Kermadec Trench believe they have retrieved the deepest ever sediment sample from the bottom of the ocean using a wire-deployed corer.
Wire deployed corer floats being retrieved

Wire deployed corer floats being retrieved on board the RV Tangaroa. The corer sampled sediments at 9994 metre depths in the Kermadec Trench.

ST47 9990m landing

Wire deployed corer landing at 9994 metre depth in the Kermadec Trench. Deployment and retrieval on board the RV Tangaroa.

A team of international researchers leaves Wellington this weekend to explore the bottom of the Kermadec Trench – one of the deepest places in the ocean.
It is well known that earthquakes can trigger tsunami but they can also be caused by landslides – with devastating effects.
NIWA vessel RV Tangaroa visted Kaikōura in September 2017 to investigate the impacts of the earthquake in the coastal zone, which includes effects on rocky reef habitats and communities, pāua fishery and Hector’s dolphins.

Pollen from New Zealand pine forests has been shown to travel more than 1500km through wind and ocean currents, and sink thousands of metres into the ocean to reach some of the world’s deepest ecosystems.

Huge mudslides from November’s earthquakes have wiped out all organisms living in the seabed of the Kaikōura Canyon.

This research project investigated whether the mechanisms for periphyton removal in rivers relate more directly to hydraulic and geomorphic conditions than flow metrics.

Find out about the role of toothfish in the ecosystem and the potential effects of fishing.

A list of current voyage reports in downloadable formats.
Now back on dry land, Voyage Leader Richard O'Driscoll reflects on the final days of RV Tangaroa's 2015 Antarctica expedition.
Biodiversity in the Kermadecs

This amazing footage was captured at the Kermadec Ridge in 2011, by NIWA's Deep-Towed Imaging System (DTIS). 

The laser dots are 20 cm apart, and allow us to judge the size or scale of the organisms and features we photograph. 

For more information on our work in the Kermadecs, see 

A recent expedition to one of the deepest places on Earth has discovered one of the most enigmatic creatures in the deep sea: the 'supergiant' amphipod.

Welcome to this special edition of  Natural Hazards Update, highlighting the Shallow Survey 2012.

Welcome to this special edition of Coasts Update, highlighting the Shallow Survey 2012.

Welcome to NIWA's third Alumni Update – an e-newsletter for past NIWA employees.

Welcome to the latest edition of Coasts Update. Here we bring you news of some of NIWA's latest research on aspects of coastal ecology, and the possible impacts of climate change on one of our coastal communities.


Subscribe to RSS - Benthic habitats