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Cabled Continental Margin

Cabled Continental Margin Array contains water column and seafloor measurements at the base of the continental slope, as well as focused seafloor measurement around a Methane Hydrate site.

At the Slope Base, 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. On the seafloor next to these moorings are complementary sensors enable interdisciplinary observations of water-column processes that span the continental margin to across the shelf.

Infrastructure on the Southern Hydrate Ridge site 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.

About the Cabled Array

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 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).

Array Diagrams

Sites

This array includes following research sites and platforms.

KeySite NameWater Depth
PN01A Oregon Slope Base Primary Node (PN01A) (PN01A) 2,905 meters
PN01B Hydrate Ridge Primary Node (PN01B) (PN01B) 1,241 meters
PN01A-B Oregon Slope Base Deep Profiler Mooring (RS01SBPD) 2,893 meters
PN01A-A Oregon Slope Base Shallow Profiler Mooring (RS01SBPS) 2,906 meters
MJ01A Oregon Slope Base Seafloor (RS01SLBS) 2,901 meters
LJ01B Southern Hydrate Summit 1 Seafloor (RS01SUM1) 775 meters
MJ01B Southern Hydrate Summit 2 Seafloor (RS01SUM2) 772 meters