Global Station Papa Team Recovers Two Years of Data

The winds seemed to have blown in favor of the Global Station Papa 8 team last month. Their mission to “turn” (recover old and deploy new) moorings went without incident, and two-years of data were recovered after COVID canceled the 2020 cruise.

On July 18, the seven members of the Station Papa 8 team set out aboard the R/V Sikuliaq from Seward, Alaska following a seven-day COVID isolation period. The weather was beautiful the first three days while in transit to Station Papa, located in the Gulf of Alaska in the Northeast Pacific, and weather remained favorable for work for the rest of the cruise.

Over the 16-day period at sea, the team successfully deployed and recovered two flanking moorings and one hybrid profiler mooring, and deployed and recovered two open ocean gliders. While on station, the team also conducted 11 CTD (conductivity, temperature, and depth) casts that help calibrate the instruments and validate the data they collect.

This eighth turn of the Station Papa Array was particularly important because the annual expedition to turn the array last year was canceled due to constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instrument data are downloaded upon recovery, and following a Quality Assessment/Quality Control (QA/QC) review, nearly two years of ocean observation data may have been recovered. As part of the review, OOI’s Coastal and Global Scale Node team will inspect the instruments for bio-fouling and reagent use to assess whether there was any significant impact to the data.

“We were really pleased to see that the instruments were still collecting and recording data, even after being in the water for almost two years,” said Kris Newhall, chief scientist of the Station Papa 8 expedition. “In spite of limited battery power and challenging conditions, most instruments continued to collect data for the duration of the two-year extended deployment.”

[embed]http://https://vimeo.com/585980063[/embed] [media-caption path="http://https://vimeo.com/585980063" link="#"]Shown above is the recovery of a Global Station Papa Array subsurface mooring by the team aboard the R/V Sikuliaq. The mooring was coated with marine life that had been growing there for the past two years.  The team cleaned the mooring as the ship transited to its next station.  Video courtesy of Bern McKiernan. [/media-caption]

The periodic turning of the moorings present opportunities to incorporate design innovations into the arrays. The new moorings have improved controllers and new positioning beacons with GPS and flashers built into the housing, which will help increase performance and simplify recovery.

The team returned to Seward on August 2, then made their way back to their home port in Woods Hole, MA. The data retrieved from the moorings will help researchers investigate topics related to climate, ocean circulation, biological productivity, and ocean acidification in this important region of the Northeast Pacific.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CGSN Webinar 15 September

An informational webinar on the OOI Coastal and Global Scale Nodes (CGSN) will be presented on 15 September 2021 from 3:00-4:00 pm EDT. A presentation by the CGSN Team will be followed by a Q&A session.

Topics covered will include infrastructure making up the CGSN Arrays (Coastal Pioneer, Global Irminger Sea, and Global Station Papa), the current status of deployments, how to access near real-time data, and how to engage with the OOI.

Register here so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet the OOI CGSN Team and learn how you can work together.

 

 

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Summer at Sea: Three Arrays Turned

This summer has been a busy time for OOI’s teams, who are actively engaged in ensuring that OOI’s arrays continue to provide data 24/7. Teams are turning – recovering and deploying – three arrays during July and August. The first expedition occurred earlier in July when a scientific and engineering team spent 16 days in the Northeast Pacific recovering and deploying ocean observing equipment at the Global Station Papa Array. The team recovered three subsurface moorings and deployed three new ones. They also deployed one open ocean glider, recovered one profiling glider, and conducted 11 CTD casts (which measure conductivity, temperature, and depth) to calibrate and validate the instruments on the array.  After completing this eighth turn of the Station Papa Array, the team returned to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution by way of Seward, Alaska on the second of August.

[embed]https://vimeo.com/580883575[/embed]

On 30 July, the Regional Cabled Array team embarked on the first of four legs of its 37-day Operations and Maintenance Cruise aboard the R/V Thomas G. Thompson. The ship, operated by the University of Washington, is hosting the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason, operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). During the cruise, Jason will be used to deploy and recover a diverse array of more than 200 instruments from the active Pacific seafloor. The science, engineering, and ROV teams will be joined this year by 19 students sailing as part of the University of Washington’s educational mission (VISIONS’21). A live video feed of the ship’s operations and Jason dives is available for the duration of the cruises.

[media-caption path="https://oceanobservatories.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/r1472_elguapo.top_.web_-768x511-1.jpg" link="#"]The Regional Cabled Array team expects to share imagery as spectacular as this during its upcoming cruise. Shown here is the El Guapo hot spring, covered in life venting boiling fluids 4500 feet beneath the oceans surface. Credit: UW/NSF-OOI/CSSF; V11.[/media-caption]

On 3 August, a team from WHOI boarded the R/V Armstrong for a weeklong transit to recover and deploy the Global Irminger Sea Array, off the Southeast coast of Greenland. The array is located in one of the most important ocean regions in the northern hemisphere and provides data for scientists to better understand ocean convection and circulation, which have significant climate implications.  A science and engineering team will be deploying and recovering a global surface mooring, a global hybrid profiler mooring, two global flanking moorings, and three gliders (two open ocean and one profiling) during the three-week expedition. The team will also carry out shipboard sampling and CTD casts to support the calibration and validation of platform sensors while underway.  A novel aspect of this cruise is that near real-time CTD profiles will be made publicly available during the cruise. The profiles will be evaluated by onshore staff, who will provide feedback to the ship, and share online assessment of CTD results.

“This summer’s at-sea activities are the culmination of months of planning, testing, and logistical work that goes on behind the scenes to make these expeditions possible,” said John Trowbridge, OOI’s Principal Investigator and head of the Program Management Office. “A tremendous amount of human effort and ingenuity is required to keep the arrays operational year-round, particularly in some of the ocean’s most challenging environments like the Irminger Sea and on the seafloor at Axial Seamount. The data collected, however, are essential, providing scientists with the tools needed to understand our changing ocean.”

The progress of the expeditions will be reported on these pages and on OOI’s social media channels.

[media-caption path="https://oceanobservatories.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Irminger-Surface-mooring-.jpg" link="#"]A global surface mooring in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution stage area is outfitted and ready for deployment in the Irminger Sea Array. Photo: ©Jade Lin, WHOI[/media-caption]

 

 

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OOI Facility Board Opening: Apply by Aug 15

The Ocean Observatories Initiative Facility Board (OOIFB) provides independent input and guidance regarding the management and operation of the National Science Foundation-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The OOIFB works to expand scientific and public awareness of the OOI, and ensure that the oceanographic community is kept informed of developments of the OOI.

The OOIFB is soliciting applications to fill one open membership position. The appointment will fill the remainder of an unexpired term and will be effective starting in September 2021 and run through June 2023. The selected individual will be eligible to serve a second term of 3-years.  The OOIFB holds at least one in-person meeting per year and one web conference each month.

Scientists with experience using scientific observing systems, such as the OOI, are encouraged to apply.  In an effort to maintain the expertise and disciplinary depth on the committee, we are particularly interested in applicants with research experience using data from the OOI Global Arrays.  However, all interested applicants will be considered.

The responsibilities of the OOIFB may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Serving as the prime scientific and technical conduit between the oceanographic community and NSF regarding OOI.
  • Examining the accomplishments and work flow of the OOI Operator, in order to provide feedback regarding the OOI Annual Work Plans (AWPs).
  • Via workshops, community meetings, and/or other mechanisms, stimulate and engage the user community in order to keep the accomplishments of the OOI at the cutting edge of scientific inquiry and technological innovation.
  • Developing and implementing strategies to expand scientific and public awareness of the unique scientific and technological opportunities of the OOI.

Applications should be submitted to Annette DeSilva, at the OOIFB Administrative Support Office, and must include a letter of interest and an academic CV.  Applications are due by August 15, 2021. Applications will be reviewed by the OOIFB, who will give due consideration to the qualifications of applicants, as well as the maintenance of gender, career level, discipline, and regional balance on the OOIFB. For more information about OOIFB and its activities, please visit the website  or contact Kendra Daly, OOIFB Chair. The OOIFB Charter is available for review here.

 

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RCA Visions 21 Departs for 37-day Expedition

The University of Washington Regional Cabled Array Team left Seattle, Washington on 30 July for its annual Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Expedition for the cabled component of the National Science Foundations’ Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), through September 4, 2021. This 37-day cruise is on the global class research ship the R/V Thomas G. Thompsonoperated by the University of Washington, which is hosting the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jasonoperated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

[media-caption path="https://oceanobservatories.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/J1265_20200808_0232_CAMDSB303_recover-copy-2.jpeg" link="#"]ROV Jason breaks the surface above the most active volcano off the WA-OR coast. Credit: UW/NSF-OOI/WHOI. V20.[/media-caption]The expedition can be followed through live video feeds from sea, daily updates, and stunning imagery. During the cruise, virtual visitors will be able to directly observe parts of the seafloor rarely seen by humans – the most active submarine volcano off our coast ‘Axial Seamount’ located about 300 miles offshore and nearly a mile beneath the oceans’ surface. Here virtual visitors can witness one of the most extreme environments on Earth – underwater 700°F hot springs teaming with life that thrives on volcanic gases and lives in the complete darkness of the deep sea. The team will also visit the Cascadia Margin, spending time at Southern Hydrate Ridge where methane ice deposits are exposed on the seafloor with areas of dense microbial mats, and at shallower sites that are some of the most biologically productive areas in the world’s ocean.

[media-caption path="https://oceanobservatories.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/overview.flow_.mosquito.sm_.r1772_03229-scaled.jpg" link="#"]A “Mosquito” flow meter (far left) and osmotic fluid sampler (far right) installed on microbial mats Southern Hydrate Ridge. Photo credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF; Dive R1772; V14.[/media-caption]
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The Regional Cabled Array (RCA) team is excited to get underway and looking forward to being out in the Pacific Ocean again. This is an immense logistics operation with ~ 20 trucks transporting >130,000 lbs of gear to Newport, Oregon in support of highly complex at-sea operations that have required months of planning, and testing of gear to be installed. During the cruise, the ROV will deploy and recover a diverse array of more than 200 instruments, several small seafloor substations that provide power and communications to instruments on the seafloor and on moorings that span depths of 2900 m (9500 ft) to 80 m (260 ft) beneath the oceans’ surface. In addition, several novel, externally funded instruments developed by scientists in the US and Germany will be installed.

This year, the RCA Team will be joined by 19 students sailing as part of the UW’s educational mission (VISIONS’21).  The students will be distributed over the four legs of the O&M Expedition. The VISIONS program has allowed >160 students to participate in this at-sea experiential learning program.

Virtual visitors will have the opportunity to share in the students’ wonder and excitement through their blogs and daily updates here. Be sure to bookmark this site and check back often to share in what promises to be a life-changing experience for many students.  Share in their adventure!

Article by Deb Kelley, Principal Investigator for the Regional Cabled Array 

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Shipboard CTD Data in Near-real Time from Irminger 8

In August, members of the OOI team aboard the R/V Neil Armstrong for the eighth turn of the Global Irminger Sea Array and members of OSNAP (Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program) onshore are working together to make near-real time shipboard CTD data available here.

[button link="https://oceanobservatories.org/community-tools/"] READ NEAR REAL-TIME CTD DATA REPORT BLOGS DURING CRUISE  [/button]

 

The OOI shipboard team is working directly with an onshore expert hydrographer, Leah McRaven (PO WHOI), from the US OSNAP team to support collection of an optimized hydrographic data product. This collaboration is supporting the OOI team through the cruise planning stages, during the cruise, and during initial data processing stages. In the end, both teams aim to document the process of collecting thoroughly vetted data from the shipboard CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) system.

A special feature of this collaboration is the near real-time sharing of OOI shipboard CTD data with the public. Interested parties have access to the same CTD profiles that McRaven will be reviewing. Additionally, McRaven will share brief reports online while the cruise is underway.

The hydrographic data collection facilitated by OOI on the Irminger Sea cruise will bolster not only OOI end users, but also supports international oceanographic research projects, including OSNAP, AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) and BGC-ARGO (BioGeoChemical Array for Real-time Geostrophic Oceanography).

“We hope sharing this data will present an opportunity for OOI end users to learn more about working with oceanographic data as well as good data practices,” said McRaven.

Al Plueddemann, PI of OOI’s Coastal and Global Scale nodes, which includes the Global Irminger Array, added “This is a great example of a cross-project collaboration that expands the visibility of OOI data over the short-term and improves its quality for integration into long-term research projects like OSNAP.”

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Scoping the New Pioneer Array in the Southern Mid-Atlantic Bight

A very engaged group of participants spent the week of June 21st thinking about how to optimize the Pioneer Array for its relocation to the southern Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) in 2024. The five-day Innovations Lab, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) was led by the OOIFB (Ocean Observatories Initiative Facilities Board), a talented team of “Sparks”, Knowinnovation, Inc. (KI), and expertly supported by the OOI Facility. The group identified a range of representative interdisciplinary science questions that can be addressed using the Pioneer Array within the MAB and proposed optimum locations and potential configurations for the array.

Science question topics included air-sea interactions;  the influence of estuarine plumes and the Gulf Stream on cross-shelf and shelf-slope exchanges and their impacts on ocean chemistry and biology; benthic-pelagic coupling; and canyon processes. Participants converged on a general region (see boxes in Figure 1 below) that would best address the science questions.

[media-caption path="https://oceanobservatories.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-earth-map.png" link="#"]Figure 1. Southern MAB Pioneer Array regions. The red box indicates the region where moorings would be located and the larger green box indicates the region where mobile assets (gliders and AUVs) would operate.[/media-caption]

“The Innovations Lab was very successful, and we really appreciate the community sharing their innovative ideas with us in this essential first step,” said Kendra Daly, chair of the OOIFB. “The Innovations Lab provides an excellent start to a long process of fleshing out the details to ensure that the array provides data to investigate a broad range of interdisciplinary science questions, while also being robust enough to weather the challenging environmental conditions in the Mid-Atlantic Bight.”

The OOIFB will continue to engage with the OOI community to refine the array’s design for implementation over the next two years. The Innovations Lab showed that there is strong community interest in coastal science, the potential for new partnerships, and excitement about implementing the Pioneer Array in its new location.

 

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Eighth Turn of Station Papa Array Set for July

After 20 months in the water, the Global Station Papa Array will be turned (old moorings recovered and new ones deployed) in July for the eighth time. Normally, this array is turned every year, but last year the trip was cancelled due to constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In early July, the OOI team will head to Seward, Alaska to begin preparations for this long-due operation.

The OOI team will arrive in Seward and load the R/V Sikuliaq with over 54 tons of equipment. Following one week of equipment mobilization and build, and a precautionary seven-day COVID isolation period, the team will depart for a 16-day cruise in the Northeast Pacific. The team will recover three Station Papa subsurface moorings and deploy three new ones. Along the way, they will also deploy two Open Ocean Gliders, recover one Profiling Glider, and conduct 11 CTD casts, which will help calibrate and validate the instruments on the array.  The design of the moorings and gliders, as well as their planned locations, can be found here.

The robust array was designed for a 12-month deployment between turns, but due to COVID this interval had to be extended to 20 months.  The extended duration may have affected data quality since bio-fouling on instruments accumulates over time.  However, past experience with extended durations has been positive such that the team’s expectations regarding data quality is high.

“Regular maintenance is vital for keeping the arrays working and collecting data, so this cruise is an especially important one,” said Chief Scientist Kris Newhall, who leads the seven members of the Station Papa 8 team.

The moorings have several design updates, including improved controllers and new positioning beacons with GPS and flashers built into the housing. The upgrades will increase the performance  of the moorings and simplify recovery operations.

The Global Station Papa Array is an important part of the OOI network, and the data it has collected is helping to shed light on the physical and biological dynamics for this region of the North Pacific.

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OOI Rolls Out Initial QARTOD Tests

As part of the ongoing the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) effort to improve data quality, OOI is implementing Quality Assurance of Real-Time Oceanographic Data (QARTOD) tests on an instrument-by-instrument basis. Led by the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S. IOOS), the QARTOD effort draws on the ocean observing community to provide manuals, which outline and identify tests to evaluate data quality by variable and instrument type. Currently, OOI is focused on implementing the Gross Range and Climatology Tests for the variables associated with CTD, pH, and pCO2 sensors. Over the coming months tests will be applied to data collected by pressure sensors, bio-optical sensors, and dissolved oxygen sensors. Ultimately, where and when appropriate, QARTOD tests will be applied to the relevant variables for all OOI sensors.

The Gross Range test aims to identify data that fall outside either the sensor measurement range or is a statistical outlier. OOI identifies failed/bad data with a threshold value based on the calibration range for a given sensor. We also calculate suspicious/interesting data thresholds as the mean ± 3 standard deviations based on the historical OOI data for the variable at a deployed location. As implemented by OOI, the Gross Range test identifies data that either fall outside of the sensor calibration range, and is thus “bad”, or data that are statistical outliers based on the historic OOI data for that location.

The Climatology Test is a variation on the Gross Range Test, modifying the relevant suspicious/interesting data thresholds for each calendar-month by accounting for seasonal cycles. The OOI time series are short (<8 years) relative to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recommended 30-year climatology reference period. To help ensure quality, we calculate seasonal cycles for a given variable using harmonic analysis, a method that is less susceptible to spurious values that can arise either from data gaps, measurement errors or from the presence of real, but anomalous, geophysical conditions in the available record.  First, we group the data by calendar-month (e.g. January, February, …, December) and calculate the average for each month. Then, we apply the monthly-averaged-data with a two-cycle (annual plus semiannual) harmonic model. Each harmonic is determined using a least-squares fit – a procedure that minimizes the sum of the squares of the differences between the data points and the curve to be fit. This produces a “climatological” fit for each calendar-month.

Next, we calculate the standard deviation for each calendar-month from the grouped observations for the month. The thresholds for suspicious/interesting data are set as the climatological-fit ± 3 standard deviations. Occasionally, data gaps may mean that there are no historical observations for a given calendar-month. In these instances, we linearly interpolate the threshold from the nearest months. For sensors mounted on profiler moorings or vehicles, we first divide the data into subsets using standardized depth bins to account for differences in seasonality and variability at different depths in the water column. The resulting test identifies data that fall outside of typical seasonal variability determined from the historic OOI data for that location.

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OOI Community Members Guide Pioneer Relocation

From 21-25 June, 37 members of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) community are participating in the National Science Foundation-sponsored Phase 2 Innovations Lab to identify the best location within the recently designated geographic region of the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) between Cape Hatteras and Norfolk Canyon for the Pioneer Array relocation.

During the week, participants will work to identify the observatory opportunities that can be offered by the new Pioneer Array location. They will explore how the Pioneer Array sensors and platforms can be optimized to achieve science and education goals at a new site, based on environmental, logistical, and infrastructural considerations. The group will also evaluate challenges presented by deployment of Array infrastructure at a new location, and discuss the potential for partnerships and collaborations at a new site.

The MAB region offers opportunities to collect data on a wide variety of cross-disciplinary science topics including cross-shelf exchange, land-sea interactions associated with large estuarine systems, a highly productive ecosystem with major fisheries, and carbon cycle processes. This geographic region also offers opportunities to improve understanding of hurricane development, tracking and prediction, and offshore wind partnerships. The relocation of the Pioneer Array will take place in 2024.

The Ocean Observatories Initiative Facilities Board (OOIFB), in partnership with KnowInnovations, is facilitating the Phase 2 Innovations Lab. “We selected a diverse mix of Lab participants to achieve a broad range of disciplines and professional expertise, career stage (from early to senior), gender, cultural background, and life experience. By involving such a wide range of people in the conversations this week, it is our hope that the innovative quality, outputs, and outcomes of the Lab will be enriched,” said Kendra Daly, chair of the OOIFB.  “And, throughout the year, we will continue to work with the community on the exciting optimization process via scientific meetings, seminars, and other means to ensure we receive broad input.”

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