Ocean Observatories Initiative Deploys First Global Site

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The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) program this month is deploying moorings and other instruments at the first global site of the OOI Station Papa location in the Gulf of Alaska.

A team led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, with their partners at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is embarking on an approximately two-week cruise that started on July 15 to deploy this equipment. The cruise, on the Scripps/U.S. Navy Research Vessel (R/V) Melville will depart and return from the University of Washington dock in Seattle, WA. The team will deploy one Global Hybrid Profiler Mooring, two Mesoscale Flanking Moorings, and three Global Gliders. There will be a total of 57 instruments deployed (Please visit the OOI Instrument Tables Section on the OOI Website to read more details and view maps on the Station Papa location here).

The team, led by Scripps Professor Uwe Send, continues Scripps’s long history of developing and deploying technologies and instrumentation for the long-term global observation of the world’s oceans. Such information provides valuable insight into how the oceans are changing to inform scientists, resource managers, and policy makers.

The global component of the OOI design includes a network of moorings at critical, yet under-sampled, high-latitude locations such as the Station Papa site in the North Pacific.  The array will be composed of a subsurface Global Hybrid Profiler Mooring made up of two types of profilers: a surface piercing profiler operating from approximately 150 meters (492 feet) to the surface, allowing satellite data telemetry, and two wire following profilers, one operating from 310 to 2,170 meters (1,017 to 7,119 feet) and the other from 2,195 to 4,060 meters (7,201 to 13,320 feet). This OOI mooring will supplement a pre-existing surface mooring operated by NOAA/PMEL at station PAPA, and is also located next to the end point of the Canadian line-P hydrographic section occupied several times per year.

The two subsurface Mesoscale Flanking Moorings will be deployed to form a triangular array approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) on a side. These flanking moorings have their uppermost flotation and sensors at  approximately 30 meters (98 feet) depth and instruments at discrete depths along the mooring line. Gliders equipped with acoustic modems to relay data to shore via satellite telemetry will sample within and around the triangular array. These gliders will carry sensor suites with the capability to alter sampling rates during a mission.

In addition to mid-summer deployments at Station Papa, the OOI program has phased deployments planned for the Endurance Array and Pioneer Array for early and late fall. Currently a University of Washington-led team is conducting critical at-sea work on the cabled observatory component of the OOI in the northeast Pacific Ocean (to follow activities of that cruise on the R/V Thompson please visit the UW Interactive Oceans website here).

As the OOI moves into the 2014 phase, two deployments will take place for Pioneer and Endurance, and in the fall of 2014, final construction will take place at those locations.  The global deployment in the Irminger Sea is scheduled for the summer of 2014. The two other global sites are scheduled for deployment in late fall 2014 and early winter 2015 in the Argentine Basin and Southern Ocean. The construction phase of the program officially ends in 2015.

Please continue to visit the OOI Website for updates on the Station Papa cruise and activities across the OOI. Please submit questions and comments here.

Information provided by OOI

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