National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Observing Our Earth: Deep Sea


		
		<a href='http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov'>NOAA's National Data Buoy Center</a> recently deployed a <a href='http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/glider_launch.shtml'>Wave Glider</a>, the world's first operational unmanned system used to detect tsunamis. Launched in the Gulf of Mexico, and designed to save lives, the breakthrough technology supports <a href='http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart.shtml'>NOAA's Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART)</a> network. Also serving as a weather station that collects real-time meteorological information, the Wave Glider can reliably and cost-effectively travel to strategic locations under its own propulsion and return to shore on command. Deploying such innovative technology to maintain the nation's ocean observation network is an important advance in strengthening America's resiliency. Learn more in this web feature, "<a href='http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/news/130329_waves.html'>Riding the waves of the future</a>."

NOAA's National Data Buoy Center recently deployed a Wave Glider, the world's first operational unmanned system used to detect tsunamis. Launched in the Gulf of Mexico, and designed to save lives, the breakthrough technology supports NOAA's Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART) network. Also serving as a weather station that collects real-time meteorological information, the Wave Glider can reliably and cost-effectively travel to strategic locations under its own propulsion and return to shore on command. Deploying such innovative technology to maintain the nation's ocean observation network is an important advance in strengthening America's resiliency. Learn more in this web feature, "Riding the waves of the future."

Photo: Liquid Robotics, Inc.


		
		To protect lives and fragile coasts, <a href='http://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov'>NOAA's Coast Survey</a> is developing precise nautical charts in remote Arctic waters where sea ice is melting fast and ship traffic is rapidly increasing. Using multi-beam sonar during hydrographic surveys, the <a href='http://www.moc.noaa.gov/fa'><em>Fairweather</em></a> and other NOAA ships collect the raw data that cartographers use to develop nautical charts. Commercial shippers, tankers, passenger vessels, and fishing fleets depend on NOAA to provide <a href='http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/OnLineViewer.html'>charts</a> with accurate shorelines, the latest depth information, and other information critical to safe navigation. Yet many regions of Alaska's coastal areas have never had full surveys of underwater floors, and some haven't had more than superficial depth measurements since Captain Cook explored the northern regions in the late 1700s.

To protect lives and fragile coasts, NOAA's Coast Survey is developing precise nautical charts in remote Arctic waters where sea ice is melting fast and ship traffic is rapidly increasing. Using multi-beam sonar during hydrographic surveys, the Fairweather and other NOAA ships collect the raw data that cartographers use to develop nautical charts. Commercial shippers, tankers, passenger vessels, and fishing fleets depend on NOAA to provide charts with accurate shorelines, the latest depth information, and other information critical to safe navigation. Yet many regions of Alaska's coastal areas have never had full surveys of underwater floors, and some haven't had more than superficial depth measurements since Captain Cook explored the northern regions in the late 1700s.

Photo: NOAA

The U.S. and Indonesia crossed new frontiers on the maiden voyage of the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer, partnering on a rare joint expedition in largely unexplored Indonesian waters. With a wealth of marine biodiversity, these waters fostered discoveries supporting ongoing research in a number of areas – better managing sustainable fisheries, conserving coral reefs, and understanding more about how the sea transports heat and marine life adapts to climate change. Discoveries further advanced understanding of undersea ecosystems and revealed amazing varieties of deep corals as well as volcanic hydrothermal vent activity with biologically unique communities. In a first for a NOAA ship, the expedition simultaneously beamed a dazzling array of real-time images from the seafloor to scientists on board and ashore. Educational modules were also developed for students in the U.S. and Indonesia.

Photo: NOAA


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