Scientists Gear Up to Launch Ocean Observing Networks : Image

illustration of Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory

An underwater microscope and a telescope: Established in 2000 by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory includes an underwater node in which scientists can plug in instruments to study key coastal phenomena. It is cabled to a shore-based lab that also has mast with meteorological instruments. To date, studies have examined the exchange of heat and water between the ocean and atmosphere; how ocean properties affect blooms of ocean plants and animals; how military mines are covered and uncovered by sediment transport; and how bubbles and turbulence affect the propagation of sonar and other sound signals. (Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)