Sustained Observing from the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI)

Albert J Plueddemann, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, United States, John H Trowbridge, WHOI, Woods Hole, MA, United States, Edward Paul Dever, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, United States, Deborah S Kelley, University of Washington Seattle Campus, School of Oceanography, Seattle, WA, United States and Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, Rutgers University, Office of Economic Development, Piscataway, NJ, United States
The US National Science Foundation funds the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), an integrated network that enables scientific investigation of interlinked physical, chemical, biological and geological processes throughout the global ocean. The OOI is distributed among sites selected for scientific relevance based on community input. The Global Arrays host deep-ocean moorings and gliders to provide interdisciplinary measurements of the water column, mesoscale variability, and air-sea fluxes at critical locations. The Regional Cabled Array instruments a tectonic plate and overlying ocean in the northeast Pacific, with a permanent electro-optical cable connecting multiple seafloor nodes that provide high power and bandwidth to seafloor sensors and moorings, all with high-speed, interactive communication capabilities. The Coastal arrays include the Pioneer Array, a relocatable system currently positioned at shelf-break front south of New England, and the Endurance Array, a fixed system off Washington and Oregon with connections to the Regional Cabled Array. The OOI Arrays began delivering data to the community in 2013, with plans for a 25-year operational lifetime. Each OOI installation is a multi-scale, multi-platform array with an interdisciplinary sensor suite. Common sensor types, verification protocols, and data formats are used across platforms. This allows synthesis of data to address complex processes. OOI platforms are in real-time or near real-time communication to shore, with data delivery via a common cyberinfrastructure. This allows sampling strategies to be modified in response to events. Envisioned as a key contribution to climate studies, the OOI has also provided insight in many other areas, such as geophysical events, hypoxia events, seasonal surface forcing, intraseasonal oceanographic variability, and water property exchange processes.