Hacking a pressure sensor to track gradual motion along marine faults

The modified pressure sensor is now being tested at the bottom of Monterey Bay.

Deep below the ocean’s surface, shielded from satellite signals, the gradual movement of the seafloor — including along faults that can unleash deadly earthquakes and tsunamis — goes largely undetected. As a result, we know distressingly little about motion along the fault that lies just off the Pacific Northwest coast. University of Washington oceanographers are working with a local company to develop a simple new technique that could track seafloor movement in earthquake-prone coastal areas. 

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Old fish few and far between under fishing pressure

A bright orange fish fish swimming in dark water near the rocky ocean floor.

Like old-growth trees in a forest, old fish in the ocean play important roles in the diversity and stability of marine ecosystems. Critically, the longer a fish is allowed to live, the more likely it is to successfully reproduce over the course of its lifetime, which is particularly important in variable environmental conditions. A new study by University of Washington scientists has found that, for dozens of fish populations around the globe, old fish are greatly depleted — mainly because of fishing pressure. 

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Catching a diversity of fish species — instead of specializing — means more stable income for fishers

Fishing boats against a white sky.

For people who make a living by harvesting natural resources, income volatility is a persistent threat. Crops could fail. Fisheries could collapse. Forests could burn. These and other factors — including changing management regulations and practices — can lower harvests and depress incomes. But the ways that these forces interact to impact income, especially at the level of the individual worker, have been difficult to track. 

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Climate change challenges the survival of fish across the world

grass and rock covered terrain, with a meandering river cutting through the landscape and distant mountains.

Climate change will force many amphibians, mammals and birds to move to cooler areas outside their normal ranges, provided they can find space and a clear trajectory among our urban developments and growing cities.  But what chance do fish have to survive as climate change warms up waters around the world? University of Washington researchers are tackling this question in the first analysis of how vulnerable the world’s freshwater and marine fishes are to climate change. 

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