On September 8th, a science team of ten and three students from Oregon State University will depart the dock at Newport, Oregon, aboard the R/V Thomas Thompson for the 15th turn of the Coastal Endurance Array. The team will recover and deploy seven moorings. Four of the moorings are located on the Washington Shelf, with the remaining three on the Oregon Shelf. It’s a busy expedition. The team also will be recovering four and deploying three Coastal Surface Profilers and recovering three gliders that are low on power. When not turning the arrays, they will be taking CTD (connectivity, temperature, and depth) casts to verify and calibrate instrumentation. Because of the quantity of the equipment to be recovered and deployed, the cruise will consist of three legs.
“As we head to sea for the fifteenth time to turn this array, it’s remarkable to consider that the Endurance Array has been generating data for researchers, teachers, and others interested in the ocean, every day, 24/7 for the past seven years, said Jonathan Fram, who is the chief scientist for Endurance 15. “Our data has helped identify everything from warm blobs to low-oxygen events, to even the impact of forest fire smoke miles from shore.”
To help advance science, the Endurance 15 team also will be sampling for researchers with instruments on the Endurance Array moorings. The team will collect fouling communities growing on panels attached to its deployed buoys for researcher Linsey Haram of the Smithsonian Institution. They will also collect settling organisms on devices attached to two multi-function nodes for Oklahoma State researcher Ashley Burkett.
The team also will be testing potential instrument replacements and new sampling strategies for coastal moorings. Additionally, they will be assessing technical improvements to the moorings and instrumentation that range from a new solar panel frame design to prevent sea lions from unplugging the panels to improvements to cameras deployed on the moorings with off-the-shelf replacement parts to ensure longevity and resilience.
Check back here often during September as the Endurance Array 15 team shares reports and photographs of their expedition.