Top Menu

Cabled Array

The Cabled Array provides unprecedented power (10 kV, 8 kW) and bandwidth (10 GbE), and two-way communication to scientific sensor arrays on the seafloor and throughout the water column. A shore station in Pacific City, Oregon includes two cable landings serving key sites on the Cabled Array: 1) Slope Base, Southern Hydrate Ridge, and the Endurance Array Oregon Line; and 2) Axial Seamount, and Axial Base. The ~ 900 km of modified telecommunications cable (installed in 2012) provides high power and bandwidth to seven Primary Nodes: PN1A (Slope Base), PN1B (Southern Hydrate Ridge), PN3A (Axial Base), PN3B (Axial Summit), PN5A (Mid-Plate), PN1C (Oregon Offshore), and PN1D (Oregon Shelf).

As the first U.S. ocean observatory to span a tectonic plate, the OOI Cabled Array provides a constant stream of near-real time data from the seafloor and through the water column across the Juan de Fuca plate. The network of three instrumented cabled mooring sites (Axial Base, Slope Base, and Oregon Offshore) with complementary sensors on the Cabled Array and shared Endurance Array enable interdisciplinary observations of water-column processes that span >300 miles offshore of the continental margin to across the shelf. The water column sensors are deployed on 1) moorings with instrumented wire-following profilers, and 2) two-legged moorings that provide 3 kW power and 1 GB communication to 200-m deep instrumented platforms, and instrumented winched profilers. These provide key insights into a region that is strongly forced by air-sea interaction, shelf-slope interactions with the deep sea, and coupled atmospheric/oceanic phenomena acting to produce variations in North Pacific circulation over gyre scales.

Two other sites within the Cabled Array house cable seafloor instruments exclusively: Southern Hydrate Ridge and Axial Summit. Infrastructure on the Southern Hydrate Ridge provides important insight into actively venting methane hydrate systems, including: defining the temporal evolution of methane hydrate systems in response to seismic events; determining chemical fluxes from the seafloor and impacts on overlying ocean chemistry; and understanding biogeochemical coupling associated with gas-hydrate formation and dissolution. Axial Summit is the most advanced underwater volcanic observatory in the worlds oceans. This site is the most magmatically robust volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, having erupted in 1998, April 2011, and again in April 2015 (link to story). It hosts numerous active hydrothermal fields (e.g., ASHES and the International District) and abundant sites of diffuse flow. A diverse array of geophysical chemical, and biological sensors, as well as an HD camera and digital still camera provide real-time information on linkages between seismic activity, fluid flow.

Array Diagrams

No Diagrams


This array includes following research sites and platforms.

KeySite NameWater Depth
PN1A Slope Base Primary Node (RS01HSPI) 2,905 meters
PN1A-B Slope Base Deep Profiler Mooring (RS01SBPD) 2,893 meters
PN1A-A Slope Base Shallow Profiler Mooring (RS01SBPS) 2,906 meters
PN1A-C Slope Base Low-Power JBox (RS01SLBS-LJ01A) 2,906 meters
PN1A-D Slope Base Medium-Power JBox (RS01SLBS-MJ01A) 2,901 meters
PN1B-A Southern Hydrate Ridge Summit 1 Low-Power JBox (RS01SUM1) 775 meters
PN1B-B Southern Hydrate Ridge Summit 2 Medium-Power JBox (RS01SUM2) 772 meters
PN1B Southern Hydrate Ridge Summit Primary Node (RS02HRPI) 1,241 meters
PN3A Axial Base Primary Node (RS03ABPI) 2,611 meters
PN3B-E Axial Seamount ASHES Medium-Power JBox (RS03ASHS) 1,552 meters
PN3A-B Axial Base Low-Power JBox (RS03AXBS-LJ03A) 2,594 meters
PN3A-B Axial Base Medium-Power JBox (RS03AXBS-MJ03A) 2,606 meters
PN3A-C Axial Base Deep Profiler Mooring (RS03AXPD) 2,604 meters
PN3A-D Axial Base Shallow Profiler Mooring (RS03AXPS) 2,607 meters
PN3B-D Axial Seamount Central Caldera Medium-Power JBox (RS03CCAL) 1,523 meters
PN3B-C Axial Seamount Eastern Caldera Medium-Power JBox (RS03ECAL) 1,519 meters
PN3B-A Axial Seamount International District 1 Medium-Power JBox (RS03INT1) 1,516 meters
PN3B-B Axial Seamount International District 2 Medium-Power JBox (RS03INT2) 1,526 meters
PN3B Axial Seamount Primary Node (RS04ASPI) 1,525 meters
PN5A Mid Plate Primary Node (RS05MPPI) 2,800 meters

Cabled Array Array Map Credit: OOI Cabled Array program and the Center for Environmental Visualization, University of Washington

Research Setting
seafloor, plate boundary, hydrothermal vents, open ocean, eastern boundary current, Cascadia Margin, gas hydrates