Research Projects

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Acoustically-linked mooring deployed for 1 year on the Nootka fault off Vancouver Island. (Lee Freitag)

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» NootkaOceansEurope2005_4181.pdf
Nootka Acoustically-Linked Mooring Paper - Oceans-Europe 2005

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OBSIP - Ocean Bottom Seismic Instrumentation Pool

National Deep Submergence Facility

ORION - Ocean Research Interactive Observatories Network

COSMOS - Center Ocean, Seafloor and Marine Observing Systems

Replacement HOV (Human Occupied Vehicle)

After 40 years of scientific research that led to the discovery of new life forms, helped confirm the theory of plate tectonics, and enthralled schoolchildren around the world with seafloor images and video, the research submersible Alvin will be replaced by a new, deeper-diving vehicle.  The replacement vehicle will be capable of reaching more than 99 percent of the seafloor to depths of 6,500 meters (21,320 feet) and conducting a broader range of research projects around the world. When completed in 2008, it will be the most capable deep-sea research vehicle in the world.  The four-year design and construction project is expected to cost $21.6 million and will be funded  by the National Science Foundation. WHOI will operate the new sub as part of the National Deep Submergence Facility and will provide $2 million of its own funds for the project.

For more information see:

Nootka Deep-Water, Acoustically-Linked, Moored-Buoy Seafloor Observatory

A buoy-based observatory that uses acoustic communication to retrieve data from water column and seafloor instruments has been developed and deployed in 2362 m of water offshore Vancouver Island. The system uses high-rate (5000 bps) acoustic modems that are power-efficient (on order 1000 bits per joule) to telemeter data from an ocean bottom seismometer and a sensor monitoring a cold seep site near the Nootka fault. The buoy includes a Linux-based embedded controller, the modem base station and meteorological sensors. Data is off-loaded from the buoy using ftp, and remote login capability allows the acoustic communication schedule to be modified when instruments are added or removed from the network. The system transferred more than 500 Kbytes of data per day from two seafloor instruments for over 13 months during its first major deployment from May 2004 through July 2005.

PLUME - Hawaiian Plume Imaging Experiment

The interdisciplinary Plume-Lithosphere Undersea Melt Experiment studies the shape and the origin of the mantle plume beneath the Hawaiian hotspot that is responsible for spectacular volcanism on the surface. The centerpiece of this 5-year project is an unprecedented long-term deployment of broad-band OBS (ocean bottom seismometers) to record teleseismic earthquakes. These recordings will let us illuminate the deep interior beneath Hawaii using tomographic techniques much like what is used for CAT scans of the human body. This web page will summarize the ongoing cruises and research results of the project that has started in January 2005 with the first deployment cruise.

For more information see:

Digital Archiving Project (DIGARCH)

This project will  establish a multi-institution, scalable digital archiving testbed, combining the efforts of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).  The underlying architecture and a prototype set of tools have been developed as a part of the SIOExplorer project, funded by National Science Digital Library (NSDL), Information Technology Research (ITR) and Ocean Science (OCE) awards over the last three years.  SIOExplorer has grown into an operational digital library with data, images and documents from 700 SIO cruises, along with thousands of historic photographs, a collection of seamount studies, and an educator's collection of inquiry discovery learning resources.  We will explore interfacing this system with tools (e.g. GeoBrowser) developed at WHOI to capture real-time video imagery and other interdisciplinary data acquired by WHOI ships and vehicles.

For more information see:


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Last updated January 14, 2006
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