Section Title


Benthic ecology


Canyon processes

Chemical sensors

Greenhouse gases


Microbial oceanography


Molecular ecology


Submarine volcanism



Biological Oceanography Group

Oceanographic Systems for Chemical, Optical, and Physical Experiments






Methods and Materials


   The NOPP sponsored Oceanographic-Systems for Chemical, Optical, and Physical Experiments (O-SCOPE) program addresses the need for next generation autonomous real-time interdisciplinary (chemical, bio-optical, and physical) long-term series measurements in critical regions of the world oceans.  The oceans are important sinks for greenhouse gases and heat, yet high resolution measurements of chemical and bio-optical variables relevant to global climate change are being made only sporadically in the ocean at present.  To systematically obtain high resolution, long-term, interdisciplinary oceanic data, in analog to the Mauna Loa CO2 time series, there is need to improve the variety, quantity, quality, and cost-effectiveness of observations using a network of strategically placed moorings.
     The O-SCOPE project will allow partners to formally work together to develop interdisciplinary instrumentation systems.  These systems will be designed for future use on a global network of moorings.  The parameters we plan for the systems to measure include: pCO2, pH, TAlk., DO, nitrate, PAR, spectral, radiance and irradiance, backscattered light, and stimulated fluorescence.  System design and instrument details will be developed during the course of this project.
     Scientific goals related to the development of the proposed technologies include:
* Quantification of 1) trends in biogeochemical and bio-optical variables which can be caused by major changes in wind-driven and thermohaline circulation and 2) seasonal, interannual, and decadal changes in upper ocean biogeochemical and bio-optical variability and carbon fluxes.
* Monitoring trends in "ocean health" in the form of chemical, biological, and optical indicators.
     Conceptually, interdisciplinary sensors on moorings can be configured to provide a continuous early warning system to global change in the ocean.   The intent is to capitalize on a variety of recent technology advances (e.g., pCO2, pH, and TAlk sensors, nitrate analyzers, spectral optical sensors, telemetry).  The project can accelerate the implementation of a plan to instrument (i.e., network) critical regions of the ocean with long-term interdisciplinary moorings (e.g., North Atlantic, North Pacific, Southern Ocean).  It will be necessary to extrapolate mooring network time series using remote sensing and models.  Thus, an integrated system of near real-time data distribution to the oceanographic community (for education as well as research) via the INTERNET will be developed.  The project will capitalize on two ongoing testbed mooring programs near Bermuda and Monterey Bay, as well as existing measurement programs, capabilities, and facilities (e.g., BATS, BTM, and MBARI) for geochemical, optical, and physical sensor groundtruthing and will transition next generation technologies to the recently funded NOPP mooring located at Ocean Weather Station "P" in the North Pacific.  The proposed NOPP project will allow the application of the partnership's expertise and infrastructure to develop, test, and transition requisite next generation technologies to the oceanographic community for long-term monitoring and research of biogeochemical and bio-optical as as physical processes.

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      Last Updated: 08 April, 2005