Sustaining Oceanographic Moorings in the Southern Ocean; Engineering Design and Challenges
The continuation of IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System) funding body in Australia has provided opportunities for the deployment of oceanographic moorings in both Australian waters and in the Southern Ocean. As a consequence, CSIRO has been actively developing and deploying a variety of mooring systems throughout Australia. The Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS), located at 140E, 47S, are Australia’s longest running deepwater moorings array. The SOTS array provides high temporal resolution observations in sub-Antarctic waters. Observations are broad and include measurements of physical, chemical and biogeochemical parameters. The Southern Ocean Time Series is an Australian contribution to the international OceanSITES global network of time series observatories and is one of the few comprehensive Southern Ocean sites globally.
The Southern Ocean Flux Station (SOFS) mooring is part of this array, and provides the measurements for computing air-sea fluxes of CO2, heat, momentum and mass. The SOFS mooring presents a particularly unique set of engineering challenges. In particular, the drive to provide a surface signature on the mooring to enable atmospheric measurements creates high forces on the mooring and subsequently high levels of mechanical stress on all the components. Since 2010 the CSIRO has worked to keep the SOFS mooring operational as it evolves to meet the changing needs of the scientific community. These efforts, in both their success and failures, have produced considerable learnings which drive current approaches being adopted by the CSIRO engineering team. This talk provides an overview of CSIRO’s mooring efforts in the design and deployment of oceanographic moorings in the Southern Ocean. The talk will focus on design challenges faced with deploying and maintaining moorings in this difficult environment.
Session Category : Observation Technologies