Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

2012 projects

Ocean observatories


Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN)

Project lead/manager: Jim Bellingham
Project website

The project team will extend the methods and technology previously developed to address biological process experiments in the context of the Controlled, Agile, and Novel Observing Network (CANON) initiative. Plans include furthering the capabilities of long-range autonomous underwater vehicles (LRAUVs) Tethys and Daphne to support multiple vehicle sampling, to quantify observation system performance, and to improve cyber-infrastructure to enable integrated biological process experiments. Features will be added to enable remote researchers to more directly participate in the deliberations that lead to the daily tasking for CANON assets during field programs.

Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS)

Project lead/manager: Leslie Rosenfeld
Project website

CeNCOOS, whose domain extends from Point Conception to the Oregon border, is a consortium of more than 40 research, government, for-profit and non-profit organizations that collect, provide, and use high quality ocean data and information to inform decision-making in the coastal ocean. CeNCOOS supports a network of data gathering technologies, including high frequency radar for measuring surface currents, profiling gliders to characterize the vertical and horizontal structure of the water column, and moorings and shore stations to collect meteorological, chemical, biological, and physical data. CeNCOOS and neighboring observing systems, SCCOOS in Southern California and NANOOS in the Pacific Northwest, are working with state agencies, the West Coast Governors Alliance and other organizations to provide information to address ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, marine protected areas, and other issues. 

Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) Operation and Maintenance

Project lead: Steve Etchemendy
Technical lead: Gene Massion
Project manager: T. Craig Dawe
Project website

This NSF-funded cabled observatory facility allows researchers to develop and test tools and protocols necessary to take advantage of a seafloor power supply, real-time data, and experimental control. The MARS system is designed so that tools and protocols tested at MBARI will be readily transferable to other ocean observatories. MBARI’s Marine Operations staff has implemented procedures to assist researchers deploying instruments on MARS with step-by-step instructions and information on instrument testing in the MBARI test tank, cable laying from the MARS node to science experiments, options for ROV, elevator, or ship deployment of instruments, and how to interact with the experiment once it is deployed are available online.

O'Buoy Network of Chemical Sensors in the Arctic

Project lead: Francisco Chavez

With support from the National Science Foundation, six O-buoys have been moored in Arctic ice to measure a wide variety of atmospheric gases and conditions. Information from the buoys is provided in near real-time to a variety of users. As part of the project MBARI has developed a low cost, high precision system for measuring the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and deployed it on the existing O-buoys. MBARI has also begun developing the capability to add sensors (CO2, pH, oxygen, fluorescence, temperature and salinity) to measure conditions in seawater under the ice.

Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Cyberinfrastructure

Project lead/manager: Duane Edgington

MBARI is participating in the design and implementation of the cyberinfrastructure system that integrates and presents the various aspects of the Ocean Observatories Initiative, a National Science Foundation-funded effort that covers a diversity of oceanic environments, from coastal to the deep ocean. Construction of the system began in 2009 with deployment phased over five and a half years. The MBARI team is contributing to the design and construction of the sensing and acquisition, data management, and common operating infrastructure subsystems.

Sargasso Deep-Sea Observatory

Project leads/managers: Alana Sherman, Ken Smith

In 2012, a science party lead by Ken Smith and Alana Sherman will return to the Sargasso Sea to continue investigations of the effects of climate variations on surface communities and deep-sea ecosystems on board the Schmidt Ocean Institute ship Lone Ranger. The expedition begins in Bermuda and follows a diagonal track toward the Bahamas. During the transit, the research team will collect samples of Sargassum and associated animal communities for comparison with sample collections conducted in the same areas over 30 years ago. A key objective for the February cruise is the recovery and redeployment a deep-sea observatory developed as a result of collaboration between MBARI and the Marine Science and Technology Foundation and maintained by the two organizations in collaboration with the Schmidt Ocean Institute. The observatory has been collecting data including time-lapse images from a depth of 5,400 meters since the original deployment in February 2011. The recovery and redeployment of the Sargasso Deep-Sea Observatory will extend the deep ocean data collection through August 2012.

Last updated: Feb. 03, 2015