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Types of Observatories

Regional Cabled Observatories

Using permanent electro-optical cables, researchers will connect multiple instruments in a seafloor power and telecommunications grid. High-energy, high-resolution sensors will observe earth and deep-ocean processes across an entire tectonic plate.

Coastal

Through combinations of cabled instruments, autonomous underwater vehicles, moorings, buoys, and floating platforms, scientists are monitoring the health and safety of the coastal environment while exploring fundamental processes from estuaries and beaches to the edge of the continental shelf.

Global

With drifters, floats, arrays of buoys and moorings, and novel communications systems (such as acoustic modems and satellite relays), researchers are examining planet-wide processes such as nutrient cycling (including carbon), air-sea interactions, and ocean circulation.