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Speed installation of system to monitor vital signs of global ocean, scientists urge
Date:10/31/2010

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  • A scientific instrument with a suite of environmental sensors, recently deployed at Australia's Heron Island to observe changes in the acidity of waters covering the Great Barrier Reef, among other data gathered. The instrumentation also includes carbon dioxide sensors developed with the long-term aim of building a global network of carbon dioxide observations at sea. The Heron Island site is the newest in a growing network of 25 moorings through the Pacific and Atlantic valued at about $20 million. Other moorings are planned for the Great Barrier Reef and the Australian coast in the next year as part of the nation's Integrated Marine Observing System.

Physical

  • Underwater cabled observatories: long lines of cable on the seabed dotted with nodes of instruments relaying insights into underwater volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that can cause tsunamis. Installed by Japan at a cost of roughly $100 million, the Dense Oceanfloor Network System for Earthquakes and Tsunamis (DONET / www.jamstec.go.jp/jamstec-e/maritec/donet), coupled with a national warning system, can avoid an estimated 7,500 to 10,000 (of 25,000) fatalities and about $10 billion (of $100 billion) in estimated economic losses if and when another major (M8) earthquake occurs in the waters off central Japan.

  • The recently completed North-East Pacific Time-Series Underwater Networked Experiments cabled observatory system (NEPTUNE / www.neptunecanada.ca) off Canada's west coast will take continuous measurements on the seafloor, equipped with such gadgets as a Doppler ocean current profiler, multi-beam SONAR to reveal masses of life in the water, microbial life samplers, sediment traps, plankton recorders, hydrophones and high resolution video and still cameras.

  • A robotic navy of some 3,000 small, drifting "Argo" prob
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans
Source:Eurekalert  

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