Tag: Maritime Transportation

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

What are the Totten Beacons?

The rusty remnants of a Totten Beacon (foreground) located near American Shoal lighthouse. Photo credit: M. Lawrence. Main beacon pile centered among three significantly shorter support posts. Photo credit: M. Lawrence. In 1513, Span...

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

What are the Roaring Forties?

A research vessel braves the strong westerly winds of the Roaring Forties during an expedition to measure levels of dissolved carbon dioxide in the surface of the ocean. During the Age of Sail (circa 15th  to 19th centuries), these strong prev...

Natural History / Natural History - 1 year ago

What are the trade winds?

The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that once numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Ships like the Morgan often used routes defined by the trade winds to navigate the oceans. Known to sailors around the world, the trade...

Natural History / Natural History - 2 years ago

What are the doldrums?

This NASA satellite image shows the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, known to sailors around the world as the doldrums. Known to sailors around the world as the doldrums, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, (ITCZ, pronounced and sometimes ref...

Natural History / Natural History - 2 years ago

What is GPS?

The GPS Block IIR(M) Satellite shown here is one of the various generations of GPS satellites orbiting the Earth. GPS satellites fly in medium Earth orbit at an altitude of approximately 12,550 miles. Each satellite circles the Earth twice a day....

Natural History / Natural History - 2 years ago

What is the Great Loop?

Boating along the Erie Canal, part of the Great Loop (image courtesy of Gladys L. Buzzell). The Great Loop is a continuous waterway that recreational mariners can travel that includes part of the Atlantic, Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Grea...

Natural History / Natural History - 2 years ago

What is seaspeak?

Whether on the high seas or at port, misunderstood communication can lead to serious and even dangerous situations. "Seaspeak", the official language of the seas, helps to prevent miscommunication. Have you ever wondered how crews on ships at...

Natural History / Natural History - 2 years ago

What is a High Seas Forecast?

The National Weather Service provides High Seas forecasts for large areas of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, U.S. coastal areas, and the Great Lakes. Seafaring can be very dangerous for ships at sea. For centuries, little could be done to mak...

Natural History / Natural History - 2 years ago

What is a bight?

Can you spot the bight? This image shows the Southern California Bight—the curved coastline between Point Conception and San Diego that encompasses the Channel Islands (and NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary). A bight is a long,...

Natural History / Natural History - 3 years ago

What is PORTS®?

PORTS® facilitates safe and efficient movement through U.S. seaports, helping to ensure our nation's economic health and prosperity. Shown here: the Jacksonville PORTS®, the second largest established in the national system, includes 46 operation...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

What are the horse latitudes?

The horse latitudes are regions located at about 30 degrees north and south of the equator. These latitudes are characterized by calm winds and little precipitation. The horse latitudes are located at about 30 degrees north and south of the eq...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

What is dredging?

As sand and silt washes downstream, sedimentation gradually fill channels and harbors. This material must be periodically removed by dredging. Dredging is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of lakes, rivers, harbors, and other...

Natural History / Natural History - 5 years ago

Why do we name tropical storms?

Hurricane Ike (2008), the third costliest storm in United States history. Until the early 1950s, tropical storms and hurricanes were tracked by year and the order in which they occurred during that year. Over time, it was learned that the use...

Natural History / Natural History - 5 years ago

What is a Plimsoll line?

Plimsoll mark on the hull of a floating ship. The Plimsoll line is a reference mark located on a ship’s hull that indicates the maximum depth to which the vessel may be safely immersed when loaded with cargo. This depth varies with a ship’s di...