Credit: Center for Environmental Visualization, University of Washington

The Global Station Papa Array is located in the Gulf of Alaska next to the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) Surface Buoy. The region is extremely vulnerable to ocean acidification, has a productive fishery, and low eddy variability. It is impacted by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and adds to a broader suite of OOI and other observatory sites in the Northeast Pacific.

The Global Station Papa Array consisted of a triangular set of moorings (white circles), with the sides of the triangle having a length roughly 10 times the water depth to capture mesoscale variability in each region. The global array consisted of a combination of three mooring types: the paired Global Surface (2) and subsurface Global Profiler (1) Moorings are at one corner of the triangle, with the other two corners occupied by Flanking Subsurface Moorings (3,4). Two types of gliders were deployed within the array: open-ocean gliders (dashed lines) sampled spatial variability within and around the moored array, and vertically profiling gliders sampled the waters above the subsurface Global Profiler Mooring (1).

The gliders and other parts of the Global array can be reprogrammed from shore to gather measurements of an unexpected event or change in conditions. The gliders also solve the dilemma of relaying data back to shore from beneath the surface. When underwater gliders circling the array get close to a mooring, they download data from the mooring through the water via an acoustic modem. They then surface and transmit the data to a satellite for transmission to OOI’s servers.

For more information, check out the Station Papa Array related news stories.


This array includes following research sites and platforms.

KeySite NameWater Depth
1 Apex Profiler Mooring (GP02HYPM) 4,219 meters
2 Flanking Subsurface Mooring A (GP03FLMA) 4,126 meters
3 Flanking Subsurface Mooring B (GP03FLMB) 4,145 meters
Mobile Assets (GP05MOAS) 1,000 meters

Research Themes