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Interdisciplinary Ocean Observing on the Texas Coast

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The Integrated Ocean Observing System® is necessary to oceanography and vital for understanding spatial and temporal scales of important environmental and climate processes. However, many state-of-the-art ocean observing system (OOS) technologies are operationally constrained in shallow coastal waters. Texas A&M University (TAMU) researchers are overcoming the constraint by combining traditional platforms with modern shipboard OOS. Shipboard observations provide the spatial context and are complemented by moored observations providing the temporal context of spatial observations. In the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), OOS provide researchers with large, continuous spatial and temporal data sets to investigate naturally occurring environmental events. The summer of 2010 has been a unique season for researchers in the GOM with the British Petroleum oil spill off the Louisiana coast and the shift of seasonal wind and precipitation events along the western GOM coastline impacting the formation and sustainability of a common hazard on the Texas‐Louisiana shelf—hypoxia. Such events have and are currently emphasizing an environmental revitalization of coastal GOM OOS to better monitor and predict unexpected events directly impacting coastal waters. This manuscript describes TAMU’s existing interdisciplinary operating OOS and supplemental instrumentation added to address spatial and temporal scales of northern GOM coastal hazards. Details also will be included in TAMU’s future directions as an OOS leader on the Texas shelf and in how OOS plays vital role in community education and awareness of the coastal oceans.

Keywords: coastal oceanography; environmental hazards; hypoxia; ocean observing systems; oil spill

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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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