Coastal-Scale NodesThe coastal zone, with heat, nutrient, and saline fluxes, mass input, and topographical changes, plays a critical role in ocean physics, ecology, and biogeochemistry, and it is where human impact is felt most strongly. Yet, the coastal ocean is undersampled in space and time and across a range of physical, chemical, and biological variables.
Sustaining an advanced observing capability in coastal waters remains a challenge. The OOI’s Coastal Scale Nodes (CSN) fill this gap by providing sustained, but adaptable, access to complex coastal systems. Deploying and replicating the CSN infrastructure along the U.S. coasts in the coming decades will transform our observing capabilities and understanding of the coastal ocean.
The initial stage of the coastal observatory consists of two elements:
- A long-term Endurance Array in the Eastern Pacific
The Endurance Array is a long-term observatory of moored and mobile assets deployed across the continental shelf and slope to provide continuous observations at key locations, documenting episodic events and longer-term changes. The Endurance Array will complement existing and planned observatory and infrastructure in the region.
- A relocatable Pioneer Array in the Western Atlantic
The Pioneer Array will provide a more detailed, three-dimensional view of key biophysical interactions at the shelf break using a flexible, multiplatform array combining moored and mobile assets with high spatial and temporal resolution. With its initial location south of Cape Cod, the Pioneer Array will be embedded within an established regional observing system that will provide additional benefits and opportunities for coordination.