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The Australian Integrated Marine Observing System: Delivering Data Streams to Address National and International Research Priorities

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The Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) has been established with Australian federal government funding, bringing together universities and marine agencies from across the nation to deliver a sustained observing system for Australia. It is led by the University of Tasmania on behalf of the marine and climate science community, with 10 different organizations operating components of the system based on their institutional strengths and capabilities. The system’s primary goal is to provide information in support of marine and climate science; however, as all IMOS data are discoverable and freely available through the Internet-based Ocean Portal, the system has the potential to support decision making in many other areas of marine management. IMOS has become the cornerstone of Australia’s contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System and plays a leading role in the development of observing systems in the Southern Hemisphere. This article will outline how IMOS works, with an emphasis on the key principles of (i) national, science-driven planning and (ii) delivery of data streams as research infrastructure. It will also highlight recent achievements and challenges for the future. Although it is still in its “early days,” indications are that IMOS is revolutionizing ocean observing in Australia and is laying a platform for the delivery of sustained observations over the very long term.
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Keywords: Data delivery; GOOS; Ocean observing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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