The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) has embarked on an aggressive cruise to complete construction of the cabled component of the OOI infrastructure in the Pacific Northeast known as the Regional Scales Node (RSN).
The work and cruise is being led by the OOI team at the University of Washington. The VISIONS ’14 expedition is takingplace on the Research Vessel (R/V) Thomas G. Thompson and is utilizing the state-of-the-art underwater robotic vehicle, ROPOS. There will be seven legs during the course of the 83-day cruise, which started on July 13 and will end on October 14, 2014.
Cruise plans include LIVE STREAMING VIDEO from the ship and seafloor, via high-bandwidth satellite. Please visit the UW Interactive Oceans Website to get the most updated information on each leg of this exciting cruise.
Work is scheduled at the cabled observatory’s four main study sites:
- Axial Base and Axial Caldera – two sites associated with Axial Seamount, an active underwater volcano 300 miles west of Astoria, Oregon.
- Slope Base – a site located at the base of the continental slope 60 miles west of Newport.
- Southern Hydrate Ridge – located on the continental shelf at the site of methane hydrate deposits.
Additionally, two other cabled sites on the continental shelf are part of the Endurance Array, a coastal component of the OOI and will be visited.
The OOI team deployed key components of the Endurance Array as well as the Pioneer Array on the East Coast in April. That work was led by scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Oregon State University and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The Endurance Array includes a network of fixed and mobile assets to observe cross-shelf and along-shelf variability in the coastal upwelling region of the Oregon and Washington coasts, and provides synoptic, multi-scale observations of the eastern boundary current regime. Click here to see detailed Endurance Array Instrument Tables.
The region of the continental shelf where the Pioneer Array is deployed off the New England Coast is characterized by sharp gradients in ocean temperature and other properties across the shelf, currents that flow along the shelf, and strong biological productivity. Click here to see detailed Pioneer Array Instrument Tables.
In April, the OOI team deployed and scheduled maintenance activities for the global component of the OOI infrastructure located in the Gulf of Alaska. During the cruise, the team deployed one Global Profiler Mooring, two Mesoscale Flanking Moorings and one Open Ocean Glider. Additionally, they successfully recovered all previously deployed moorings and the two previously deployed Open Ocean Gliders. Click here to see detailed Station Papa Instrument Tables.