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OOI Continues Deployments at the Pioneer Array

Three OOI gliders await deployment as a part of the Pioneer Array. Gliders are brought on deck for pre-deployment checks. Specially designed carts are used to lower them into the water and release them, after which flight control is taken over by pilots on shore. (Photo Credit: Sheri White WHOI/CGSN)

(Click to enlarge) Three OOI gliders await deployment as a part of the Pioneer Array. Gliders are brought on deck for pre-deployment checks. Specially designed carts are used to lower them into the water and release them, after which flight control is taken over by pilots on shore. (Photo Credit: Sheri White WHOI/CGSN)

An OOI team, led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), set sail on the R/V Knorr October 3 for a 9-day cruise to deploy the third-phase infrastructure of the Pioneer Array at its location off the coast of New England.

The team recovered the five Coastal Profiler Moorings installed in April 2014 and deployed replacement moorings at each site. Two shallow (200 meter maximum diving depth) and three deep (1000 meter maximum depth) Coastal Gliders were also deployed.

“The cruise was a great example of teamwork among the WHOI science team, the Captain and crew of the Knorr and shore-side operations support,” said Al Plueddemann, Chief Scientist on the cruise from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The region of the New England continental shelf where the Pioneer Array is located is characterized by sharp gradients in ocean temperature and other properties across the shelf, currents that flow along the shelf, and strong biological productivity. A total of 54 instruments were deployed. In addition to the deployments and recoveries, the team conducted CTD casts with water sampling at each mooring site, a cross-shelf CTD survey, and a bathymetry survey in the vicinity of the moored array.

The next phase of the deployment sequence will be conducted during November 15-23 from the R/V Endeavor, with three Coastal Surface Moorings and two Coastal Surface Piercing Profilers to be added to the moored systems of the Pioneer Array. The remaining two OOI Global Array installations, Southern Ocean and Argentine Basin will occur in February and March 2015, while the final Endurance and Pioneer Array deployment completions are scheduled for April 2015.

The OOI team installed the initial infrastructure of the Pioneer Array in November 2013, which included the Central Surface Mooring, Upstream Inshore Profiler Mooring, and Upstream Offshore Profiler Mooring. Thirty-two instruments were deployed with these moorings. Click here to read more about the Pioneer Array Initial Deployment. The second phase of the Pioneer Array installation took place in April 2014 with the recovery of the two Coastal Profiler Moorings and the Central Surface Mooring as well as the deployment of five Coastal Profiler Moorings and three Coastal Gliders. Click here to read about the second Pioneer Array Deployment.

For information on mooring instrument configurations see the Detailed Pioneer Array Instrument Tables. Preliminary Pioneer Array data from the April 2014 deployment can be downloaded here.

Please continue to visit the OOI Website for the latest news on the program or Submit Comments or Question for the OOI Program.

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