Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory in Elkhorn Slough (LOBO)



The Land-Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory (LOBO) consists of robust moorings that can withstand tidal currents and weather. The moorings are highly configurable, can be deployed in waters as shallow as 0.5 m, are relatively easy to maintain, and accommodate a complete array of standard and novel sensors. The sensors communicate with an on-board controller which relays data to shore in near-real time. Up to five LOBO moorings have been simultaneously deployed and maintained in Elkhorn Slough, California, since November 2003. Continuous hourly data of biological, chemical, and physical properties are relayed to shore, processed, and disseminated to users through a web interface in near-real time.

The instrumentation in the LOBO project is a combination of commercially available and ‘in house’ technology. Combined with a mooring system that allows for long term deployment and rapid data transmission through a wireless LAN, the sensors can return near-real time information for extended deployment periods.

Instruments deployed in the LOBO sensor array:


  • in situ ultraviolet spectrophotometer
  • measures the naturally occurring absorbance of UV light by the nitrate molecule

Oxygen Optode

  • Oxygen sensor from Aanderaa
  • Principle of measurement based on the effect of dynamic luminescence quenching by molecular oxygen


  • Conductivity (i.e. salinity), temperature, and depth.
  • We employ CTD’s from Sea-Bird Electronics (SBE-16plus and SBE-37) and YSI environmental (6600).

WorkHorse ADCP

  • Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler from RD Instruments.
  • Using sound waves, the ADCP can determine the current flow throughout the water column.


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