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12 August 2003

Oceanographers converge on Monterey Bay
Related images

Note: These images may not be copied, reprinted, or used without explicit permission from MBARI. Members of the media needing higher-resolution versions should contact Debbie Meyer, pressroom@mbari.org, 831-775-1807.


Image credit:  David Fierstein 2003 MBARI

Overview of AOSN experiment in Monterey Bay:
The Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN) Monterey 2003 Field  Experiment involves several ships and dozens of floating, diving, and flying oceanographic instruments operating simultaneously. Their goal is to observe and model water movement, temperature, and other upwelling-related processes in Monterey Bay over a 4-week period during August, 2003. In this computer-generated image of the Monterey Bay study area, the color of the ocean surface indicates water temperature--cold upwelling water is shown in blue; warmer water is yellow and red.

 


 Image credit:  2003 MBARI

Sample output from computer models:
These illustrations show the results of computer models for predicting ocean surface currents (left) and sea-surface temperature (right) along the Central California Coast. Data from the Monterey 2003 Field  Experiment will be used as input data for such models. It will also be used to check the accuracy of the models' predictions on a daily basis.

 


Image credit:  2003 Dynamical Control Systems Lab, Princeton University

How adaptive sampling works (example 1)
This diagram shows an example of adaptive sampling using a group of three gliders (yellow objects) at four different time periods. In this case, the gliders are studying a specific water mass or region of interest (indicated in dark blue). First the gliders follow changes in temperature or salinity to "home in" on the region selected for study. After they reach the area of interest, the gliders circulate around it at various distances, gathering data, to locate any sub-regions of particular scientific interest.


Image credit:  2003 Dynamical Control Systems Lab, Princeton University

How adaptive sampling works (example 2)
This diagram shows how a group of three gliders can change formation to monitor an oceanic front (a meeting of two different water masses). Initially (i) the gliders move in a triangle formation until they intersect the front. After they reach the frontal boundary they move in line with each other (ii). Finally they move along the frontal boundary in a zig-zag pattern to collect data across the front.

 


Photo credit:   Francisco Chavez 2003 MBARI

Woods Hole gliders arriving at MBARI
A whole fleet of undersea gliders from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute will be traversing Monterey Bay during the AOSN Monterey 2003 Field  Experiment. Programmed at the surface, these gliders follow a roller-coaster path through the water, collecting data on temperature and salinity as they go. Each time they reach the surface, they send their data and location information back to shore stations via satellite.

 


Photo credit:  Todd Walsh 2003 MBARI

Woods Hole gliders being prepared for deployment
Researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute secure their gliders on board a ship, in preparation for releasing them in Monterey Bay. Small wings will be mounted on the sides of the gliders before they are released into the sea. These gliders can stay at sea, following a pre-programmed path, for up to 2 weeks.

 


Photo credit:  Kim Fulton-Bennett 2003  MBARI

Scripps glider in the MBARI test tank
An undersea glider from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography being tested in the MBARI test tank. These gliders can dive to depths of over 1000 meters, and can stay at sea for up to a month at a time. Programmed at the surface, these gliders follow a roller-coaster path through the water, collecting data on temperature and salinity as they go. Each time they reach the surface, they send their data and location information back to shore stations via satellite.

 


Photo credit:   Kim Fulton-Bennett 2003 MBARI

Scripps glider in the MBARI test tank
Russ Davis, professor at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, works on an undersea glider in the MBARI test tank. These gliders can dive to depths of over 1000 meters, and can stay at sea for up to a month at a time. Programmed at the surface, the gliders follow a roller-coaster path through the water, collecting data on temperature and salinity as they go. Each time they reach the surface, they send their data and location information back to shore stations via satellite.

 


Photo credit:  2000 MBARI

MBARI AUV underwater
Among the many high-tech vessels that will be collecting data in Monterey Bay during the AOSN Monterey 2003 Field  Experiment is this autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) created by MBARI. Like the underwater gliders, this AUV follows a preprogrammed course underwater, collecting data as it goes, then surfacing to relay this data to scientists. With its electric motor, this AUV can travel faster and is more maneuverable than the undersea gliders. It can also carry a greater variety of oceanographic instruments.

 


Photo credit:  Debbie Meyer 2003 MBARI

MBARI oceanographic mooring in Monterey Bay
In addition to using data collected by undersea robots such AUVs and gliders, the AOSN Monterey 2003 Field  Experiment will use data collected at oceanographic moorings such as this one anchored about 10 miles from shore, near the mouth of Monterey Bay. This mooring has been collecting oceanographic data in Monterey Bay more or less continuously since 1989. Such relatively long-term data sets can help oceanographers understand how the processes they observe during the month-long AOSN experiment relate to long-term trends and climatic cycles.

 

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