Sensing the Seas: New equipment will monitor coastal ecosystems

Jack Barth

Jack Barth is a leader in ocean monitoring. (Photo: Jim Folts)

Ocean science is confronted with many unknowns about the intricate interplay of physics, chemistry and biology in Earth’s vast oceans. In this era of climatic flux, better understanding of sensitive ocean systems has taken on new urgency.

OSU oceanographers Jack Barthand Murray Levine are refining and testing an innovative sensing system designed to track trends in temperature, current velocity, salinity, nitrates, dissolved oxygen, suspended particle load and chlorophyll concentration. Known as CAPABLE (Coastal Autonomous Profiling and Boundary Layer System), the gear, which is moored to the seafloor, must hold up to battering from ferocious seas as it collects data and monitors coastal oceans in real time. The project, supported by $884,252 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, includes mechanical and software upgrades along with four field tests over two years.

Learn more about OSU’s ARRA-funded research in human health, climate change, the oceans and education here.

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