Ocean observatories and monitoring networks
|Because the ocean is a three-dimensional environment that is constantly changing over time, oceanographers must often install many instruments over large areas or use mobile vehicles such as robotic submarines to carry their instruments around. By linking instruments at many locations together in networks that send data back to shore automatically, MBARI researchers have created cutting-edge monitoring systems known as "ocean observatories."|
- The MARS ocean observatory—Providing power and a high-speed network connection in the deep waters of Monterey Bay.
- The controlled, agile, and novel observing network (CANON)—A series of month-long multi-platform experiments to study how physical processes influence algal blooms in the Monterey Bay area.
- Miscellaneous marine technology —A variety of equipment for visualizing and maintaining a persistent research presence in the ocean.
- The land-ocean biological observatory (LOBO)—An automated environmental monitoring system for estuaries and other protected waters.
- The Monterey Ocean Observing System (MOOS)—A deep-sea monitoring system that uses a special mooring cable to transfer power and data between a buoy at the ocean surface and instruments on the deep seafloor.
- MBARI's oceanographic monitoring buoys and moorings—Providing live and archived data on ocean conditions for over 20 years.
- The autonomous ocean sampling network (AOSN)—A multi-institution, multi-disciplinary approach to monitoring coastal ocean processes. Precursor to CANON
The MARS observatory, currently under construction in Monterey Bay, will provide researchers with 24-hour-a-day data and video from 900 meters (about 3,000 feet) below the ocean surface. The MARS observatory also provides 10,000 watts of electricity to power experiments and instruments that would otherwise run on batteries.
- Chinese team tests ocean-observatory equipment in Monterey Bay (Feature story)
- A webcam on MARS—the Monterey Accelerated Research System (News brief)
- MARS comes alive (Article in 2008 Annual Report - PDF)
- New seafloor observatory provides round-the-clock monitoring of ocean and Earth (News brief)
- First major experiment installed on MARS ocean observatory (News brief)
- Deep-sea observatory goes live (News release)
- Cable laid for new deep-sea observatory (News release)
- MARS ocean observatory update—Preparing the main science node (News brief)
- Undersea data network planned for Monterey Bay (News release)
- Ocean observatories—Long-term measurements and cutting-edge science (News brief)
- Monterey accelerated research system--A revolutionary deep-sea observatory (20th anniversary article)
- MARS ocean observatory web site (Researcher web site)
The CANON experiments, are month-long, multi-platform experiments to study the interaction of physical process, such as winds and currents, with biological processes, such as algal blooms and red tides in and around Monterey Bay.
- Unusually high concentrations of toxic algae detected in Monterey Bay (Feature Story)
- Ocean head count: Scientists develop new methods to track ocean biodiversity (News release)
- Robotic duo pinpoints plankton in Monterey Bay (Feature Story)
- The CANON experiments – Tracking algal blooms by “going with the flow” (Feature Story)
- Multi-institutional experiment finds harmful algal blooms in Monterey Bay (Feature Story)
- CANON web site (Researcher web site)
MBARI lead researcher in this field:
Francisco Chavez (Biological Oceanographer)
A variety of equipment for visualizing and maintaining a persistent research presence in the ocean.
- Experimental wave-power buoy survives winter in Monterey Bay (Feature story)
- New SeeStar camera system allows researchers to monitor the depths without sinking the budget (Feature story)
The LOBO observatory, developed at MBARI, consists of a series of moorings that automatically collect information on currents, water quality, and physical conditions from Elkhorn Slough, a large wetland area adjoining Monterey Bay. Similar arrays of instruments, based on the LOBO system, are being used in other estuaries in the US and Canada.
- Networked sensors provide reliable method for monitoring wetlands (MBARI 20th anniversary article)
- From a salt marsh to the deep sea—testing networked sensors (Feature story)
- Sensing the land-sea nitrogen cycle (PDF file--Article from 2004 Annual Report)
- The Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory in Elkhorn Slough (LOBO) (Researcher web site)
MBARI lead researcher for this project:
Ken Johnson (Ocean Chemist)
The Monterey Ocean Observing System is an evolving deep-sea monitoring systems that uses a special mooring cable to transfer power and data between the seafloor to a buoy at the ocean surface.
- New device helps oceanographers get their instruments back from the depths (Feature story)
- MBARI creates revolutionary deep-sea observatory 100 kilometers offshore of the Central California coast (Feature story)
- MBARI and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution launch new mooring off Monterey Bay (News brief)
- The Shepard Meander expedition—a search for missing carbon (Feature story)
- The MOOS test mooring returns to Monterey Bay (Feature story)
- Early winter storm tests mooring design (News brief)
- New MBARI mooring deployed in bay (News brief)
- The Monterey Ocean Observing System (20th anniversary article)
- A pioneer ocean observatory (PDF file--Article from 2006 Annual Report)
- Integrated technology for next generation ocean observing (PDF file--Article from 2004 Annual Report)
- Ocean observatories at MBARI (Researcher web site)
- EOM cable mooring (Researcher web site)
MBARI lead researchers for this project:
Mark Chaffey (Electrical Engineer)
Charles Paull (Marine Geologist)
For two decades, MBARI engineers and marine operations staff have been developing and improving oceanographic monitoring buoys off the coast of Central California. These buoys have provided an amazing variety of information about physical, chemical, and biological processes along the Central California coast. Such long-term data becomes ever more valuable as we try to understand human-induced changes in the ocean.
- Harnessing the awesome power of the ocean waves (Feature story)
- Unique three-way partnership yields new ocean-monitoring buoy (Feature story)
- MBARI helps create new ocean-monitoring system in New Zealand (Feature story)
- New mooring helps marine biologists monitor ocean "weather" (Feature story)
- The Monterey Bay time series (20th anniversary article)
- Fifteen years of MBARI ocean time series: La Vieja takes control (PDF file--Article from 2003 Annual Report)
- Sustaining and mining the time series: days to decades (PDF file--Article from 2004 Annual Report)
- Monterey ocean observing system (Researcher web site)
- Oasis mooring data (Researcher web site)
MBARI lead researcher for this project:
Francisco Chavez (Biological Oceanographer)
A precurser to the CANON experiments, the autonomous ocean sampling network (AOSN) used a multi-institution, multi-vehicle approach to monitoring coastal ocean processes. Hosted by MBARI and funded primarily by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, three major AOSN experiments have been conducted in Monterey Bay. During these month-long experiments, researchers from all over the country have worked together to collect data using ships, buoys, drifters, robot submarines, satellites, aircraft, and other "platforms," as well as state-of-the-art computer models. Their goal has been to find out the most efficient ways to monitor and predict ocean currents and the upwelling of cold water that drives Central Coast ecosystems.
- Schools of undersea robots give oceanographers new eyes and ears in the sea (News release)
- Oceanographers converge on Monterey Bay (News release)
- The autonomous ocean sampling network (20th anniversary article)
- Predicting coastal ocean “weather” (PDF file--Article from 2003 Annual Report)
- The autonomous underwater sampling network (Researcher web site)
- AOSN—Monterey Bay 2006 field experiment (Researcher web site)
- AOSN—Monterey Bay 2003 experiment (Researcher web site)
- MOOS upper-water-column science experiment (MUSE) (Researcher web site)
- Research cruise investigates iron's role in the ocean (Feature story)
- Canyons, currents, and algal blooms (Feature story)