COCONet enhancements to circum-Caribbean tsunami warning, tidal, and sea-level monitoring: update on tide gauge installations

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Korey Dausz1, Stephen T Dittmann1, Karl Feaux1, Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade2, Glen S Mattioli1,3 and James Normandeau4, (1)UNAVCO, Inc. Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)NOAA, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, United States, (4)UNAVCO, Boulder, CO, United States
The Continually Operating Caribbean GPS Observational Network (COCONet) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded multi-hazard geodetic and meteorological network distributed throughout the Caribbean, which provides infrastructure and capacity building for a broad range of earth science questions. The network is a multi-national collaboration consisting of 46 newly constructed continuous Global Positioning Systems (cGPS) and 21 refurbished existing GPS stations, all co-located with meteorological sensors. One recommendation of the COCONet working group was to improve the vertical reference frame for long-term sea level monitoring. A COCONet supplement was awarded by the NSF to further address this particular objective through the co-location of GPS and tide gauges. This COCOnet infrastructure, along with the new tide gauges, will have broad scientific implications for hazards mitigation, solid earth, and atmospheric science research.

UNAVCO engineers have meet with members of the Caribbean tide gauge community to establish target locations and design station layout. Allocated NSF funds allow for the construction of two complete new tide gauge systems each with two complimentary cGPS. Following the recommendations of NOAA and the sea level monitoring community, the two “new” locales will be Port Royal, Jamaica and Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Both locations had previously existing, but currently non-operational tide gauges. UNAVCO engineers will install a Sutron Radar Level Recorder and a backup pressure sensor tide gauge with GOES satellite telemetry. Tide data will be freely available by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (www.ioc-sealevelmonitoring.org).

The NSF supplement also provided funds for adding cGPS to two additional locations where currently functioning tide gauge systems exist. Proposed locations for this additional infrastructure are Barahona, Dominican Republic and Bocas del Toro, Panama. All four locations will feature two standard COCONet cGPS systems consisting of a Trimble Choke Ring GNSS antenna, Trimble NetR9 GPS receiver, and a Vaisala meteorological sensor. All GPS data will be collected, processed and distributed via standard COCONet archiving and processing along with raw meteorological data at coconet.unavco.org.