A real-time observational network has been developed on the U.S. Southeastern continental shelf. Eight large offshore platforms, currently operated by the U.S. Navy for flight training, are being instrumented to provide a range of oceanographic and meteorological observations on a continuous real-time basis.
The tower grid covers an area of 115 km x 50 km and a depth range of 25 m to 45m. An existing communications system allows high-bandwidth, real-time data transmission to shore. The network is being designed to facilitate additions of instrumentation and access to the communications system by other researchers.
This unique system represents a significant resource for the oceanographic community, providing synoptic observations of large scale oceanographic processes in a continental shelf setting in real-time, and allowing the development of an interannual to decadal database on ocean atmosphere interactions. As designed, the network is capable of providing important information on cross-shelf exchange, storm effects, and atmospheric transport. Real-time video observations of an artificial reef habitat provide information for fisheries management and research.
Archived and real-time data may be used by weather forecasters, by mariners, and by resource managers for regional management decisions. Real-time data is currently available via the world wide web.
- Skidaway Institute of Oceanography - Study coordinator; instrumentation, installation, data analysis, archiving and distribution of in situ data. Science topics: cross-shelf exchange, storm effects, plankton biology, bio-optical variability, atmospheric nutrient transport.
- University of North Carolina - Air-sea interact., numerical modeling.
- UGA (University of Georgia, Department of Marine Sciences) - Photochemistry and microbial utilization of dissolved organic matter.
- NOAA personnel of the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary - Diving support.
- SC DNR (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources) - Fisheries life history and behavior.
SC DNR Website...
- US EPA (Athens, GA) - Photochemistry
US EPA Website...