Monterey Bay Coordinated Canyon Experiment (CCE) instruments

A dense array of sensors ( more than 50) were deployed for three consecutive six-month periods from October 2015 to April 2017 within Monterey Canyon. Traditional moorings with instruments strung between floatation packages and anchors (railroad wheels) were deployed. Additionally, instruments were mounted on platforms and deployed on and buried in the seafloor. These instruments monitored conditions in the water column and  near the seafloor.

Download CCE data (Jump to links below)

Map and illustration show the locations and depth of the instruments deployed in Monterey Canyon as part of the Coordinated Canyon Experiment (CCE). The number of instruments mounted on the moorings and their configuration varied slightly between the three deployments.

Floats are deployed on mooring.

Moorings (MS1-MS5, & MS7)

Six moorings were deployed at depths of 280 to 1,850 meters water depth in Monterey Canyon. Instruments on each mooring were suspended at various depths above the seafloor. Typically, instruments deployed on the moorings were: acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP), sediment traps with intervalometers to mark time (sediment trap methods), turbidity sensors, CTDs (conductivity, temperature, and depth sensors), and optical backscatter sensors.

Sediment trap with CTD and turbidity sensors are deployed on mooring in Monterey Canyon.

Anderson sediment trap (AST)

Anderson sediment traps are designed to passively collect particulate material as it settles from the water column into a tube.  This effectively provides a record of the sediment and particulate matter passing through the water column.  After recovery these tubes can be logged with a multi-sensor core logger, and subsequently extruded, and sampled. These sediment traps were deployed on moorings MS1, MS2, MS3, MS4 MS5, and MS7 (see map and illustrations above for locations).

An ADCP deployed on a mooring line.

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)

ADCPs measure a profile of current velocity and acoustic backscatter in the water column. They were the backbone of the entire experiment. One was suspended approximately 65 meters above the seafloor looking downward on each of the moorings. All ADCP’s deployed on the moorings were 300 kHz RDI Workhorse Sentinels.


SIN is deployed off the R/V Western Flyer.

Seafloor Instrument Node (SIN)

A seafloor instrument node (SIN) was deployed at a depth of 1,840 meters. The SIN featured three ADCPs (RDI Workhorse Sentinels) of 300, 600 and 1200 kHz frequencies, looking upward from the seafloor and recording data continuously on a common time base. This platform also contained instruments that measured water temperature, salinity, turbidity, and oxygen concentrations at the seafloor.

Deploying a benthic event detector in Monterey Bay

Deploying a BED in Monterey Bay.

Benthic Event Detectors (BEDs)

Several BEDs were deployed partially buried in the canyon floor between 208 to 516 meters water depth. BEDs are designed to be carried down-canyon within sediment gravity flows. BEDs recorded acceleration, rotation and pressure as a function of time as they are transported in the flow.

AMT, mounted on a 800 kilogram tripod frame, is deployed in the canyon axis with BED sensor strapped to the side.

Acoustic Monitoring Transponder (AMT)

An array of three Sonardyne AMTs were placed in Monterey Canyon to monitor seafloor movements. One instrument was placed at 300 meters water depth in the canyon axis and the other two on stable benches on the canyon sides. Each AMT measured the distance to the other instruments as well as recording pitch, roll, temperature, and depth.

McLane profiler is deployed off the R/V Western Flyer.

McLane profiler (MS6)

A vertical McLane profiler was deployed on mooring MS6 at a depth of 1,830 meters. This automated instrument package crawled along the mooring cable, traveling between 7 to 507 meters above the seafloor every 4.5 hours collecting continuous profiles of temperature, current velocity, salinity, depth, and optical backscatter on each of these 30-minute runs.

MS0 ready to be deployed.

Wave height sensor (MS0)

MS0 is an instrument package designed to carry a wave height and current velocity sensor (600 kHz Nortek AWAC). It was deployed in 30 meters water depth on the continental shelf outside the canyon, and also carried instruments that measured, conductivity, temperature, oxygen fluorescence, and optical backscatter.


A mapping AUV is recovered after a mapping mission in Monterey Canyon.

Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV)
Researchers used MBARI’s mapping AUVs to make extremely detailed bathymetric maps of the canyon floor at two sites several times throughout the study.


Wave Glider gets a last check before deployment.

Wave Gliders
Wave Gliders are essentially robotic, self-propelled surfboards. During the CCE they were used to locate instruments and serve as mobile hot spots to download data from seafloor instruments (i.e., BEDs, AMTs and SIN).

CCE Data Report

The Coordinated Canyon Experiment (CCE) is an extensive long-term effort to monitor turbidity currents in situ and at multiple locations simultaneously. Here you can find all the data and relevant metadata collected throughout this groundbreaking study.

CCE repeat mapping data

Repeat, high-resolution, multibeam, bathymetric surveys of the Monterey Canyon floor were conducted with a mapping AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle).


Upper-ocean systems
Acoustical ocean ecology
Acoustic instruments
Acoustic fingerprinting
Acoustic community ecology
Acoustics in the news
Biological oceanography
Global modes of sea surface temperature
Krill hotspots in the California Current
Nitrate supply estimates in upwelling systems
Chemical sensors
Chemical data
Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory in Elkhorn Slough
Listing of floats
SOCCOM float visualization
Periodic table of elements in the ocean
Biogeochemical-Argo Report
Profiling float
Interdisciplinary field experiments
Ecogenomic Sensing
Genomic sensors
Field experiments
Harmful algal blooms (HABs)
Water quality
Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)
ESP Web Portal
In the news
Ocean observing system
Midwater research
Midwater ecology
Deep-sea squids and octopuses
Food web dynamics
Midwater time series
Respiration studies
Zooplankton biodiversity
Seafloor processes
Revealing the secrets of Sur Ridge
Exploring Sur Ridge’s coral gardens
Life at Sur Ridge
Mapping Sur Ridge
Biology and ecology
Effects of humans
Ocean acidification, warming, deoxygenation
Lost shipping container study
Effects of upwelling
Faunal patterns
Previous research
Technology development
High-CO2 / low-pH ocean
Benthic respirometer system
Climate change in extreme environments
Station M: A long-term observatory on the abyssal seafloor
Station M long-term time series
Monitoring instrumentation suite
Sargasso Sea research
Antarctic research
Geological changes
Arctic Shelf Edge
Continental Margins and Canyon Dynamics
Coordinated Canyon Experiment
CCE instruments
CCE repeat mapping data
Monterey Canyon: A Grand Canyon beneath the waves
Submarine volcanoes
Mid-ocean ridges
Magmatic processes
Volcanic processes
Explosive eruptions
Hydrothermal systems
Back arc spreading ridges
Near-ridge seamounts
Continental margin seamounts
Non-hot-spot linear chains
Eclectic seamounts topics
Margin processes
Hydrates and seeps
California borderland
Hot spot research
Hot-spot plumes
Magmatic processes
Volcanic processes
Explosive eruptions
Volcanic hazards
Hydrothermal systems
Flexural arch
Coral reefs
ReefGrow software
Eclectic topics
Submarine volcanism cruises
Volcanoes resources
Areas of study
Bioluminescence: Living light in the deep sea
Microscopic biology research
Open ocean biology research
Seafloor biology research
Automated chemical sensors
Methane in the seafloor
Volcanoes and seamounts
Hydrothermal vents
Methane in the seafloor
Submarine canyons
Earthquakes and landslides
Ocean acidification
Physical oceanography and climate change
Ocean circulation and algal blooms
Ocean cycles and climate change
Past research
Molecular ecology
Molecular systematics
SIMZ Project
Bone-eating worms
Gene flow and dispersal
Molecular-ecology expeditions
Ocean chemistry of greenhouse gases
Emerging science of a high CO2/low pH ocean
Datasets hosted by MGDS have their own DOI and can be cited individually.

Please cite this online data report as follows:

Lundsten, E. (2019). Coordinated Canyon Experiment (CCE) data report. Retrieved from

For additional information, please contact: Eve Lundsten