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Images: Going Wireless in the Deep Blue

A surface buoy serves as the communications hub between the seafloor and shore-based researchers using the new, acoustically based observatory. The buoy is packed with meteorological instruments (measuring winds, temperatures, humidity, and atmospheric pressure), a solar power system, back-up batteries, a Global Positioning System receiver, and two Iridium satellite systems. R/V Atlantis floats in the background. (Courtesy of Dan Frye, WHOI)
The Nootka Fault, off Vancouver Island, is an area rich with oceanographic and geologic phenomena of interest to scientists, including mud volcanoes and hydrothermal vents amid the cracks and creases in the Earth?s crust. The location proved to be a great test bed for experimental deep-water technologies. (John Collins, WHOI)
Researchers and ship crew on the R/V Atlantis lower an ocean-bottom seismometer over the side of the ship, on its way to its ?virtual connection? to the Nootka mooring system. The observatory allowed researchers to gather high-resolution data about a series of small seafloor earthquakes that occurred nearby on Nov. 2, 2004, and Feb. 28, 2005. (Courtesy of Dan Frye, WHOI)
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