Program Update: Ocean Observatories Initiative – September 2014
In September, the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) continued its efforts toward construction completion by February 2015, with deployment cruises in the Northeast Pacific and Irminger Sea. In October, the OOI will deploy assets off the coasts of New England and Oregon/Washington.
The Research Vessel (R/V) Thomas G. Thompson set sail July 13th on the VISIONS ’14 expedition 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 was led by the OOI team at the University of Washington and utilized the state-of-the-art underwater robotic vehicle, ROPOS. There were seven legs during the course of the 83-day cruise.
The deployments were accessible through LIVE STREAMING VIDEO from the ship and seafloor, via high-bandwidth satellite, and provided great views of the ROV operations and hardware deployments. Please visit the UW Interactive Oceans Websitefor the most recent information on each leg of this cruise.
Work was completed at the four main study sites of the cabled array:
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, instruments were connected at two other cabled sites on the continental shelf that are part of the Endurance Array.
In September, the Irminger Sea Array, one of the OOI Global arrays, was successfully deployed off Greenland from the R/V Knorr. The deployment included one large, instrumented surface mooring, two instrumented flanking moorings, and one open ocean glider. The Irminger Sea Array, southeast of Greenland, is one of four sites in the OOI focusing on the critical, yet under-sampled, high-latitude regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. It includes a network of moorings that will support sensors for measurement of air-sea fluxes of heat, moisture and momentum; physical, biological and chemical properties throughout the water column; and geophysical observations made on the sea-floor. Click here to see detailed Irminger Sea Array Instrument Tables.
In October, Phase II of Endurance Array deployments and Phase III of Pioneer Array deployments will take place. These deployments will be 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 provide 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.