News from Ocean Observatory Initiative
A new era of oceanography
The OOI’s Coastal and Global Array teams regularly use Teledyne-Webb Slocum Gliders to collect ocean observations within and around the array moorings. The gliders fly up and down the water column from the surface down to a maximum depth of 1000 meters, collecting data such as dissolved oxygen concentrations, temperature, salinity, and other physical parameters to measure ocean conditions. OOI shares its glider data with the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Glider Data Assembly Center (DAC). IOOS serves as a national repository for glider data sets, serving as a centralized location for wide distribution and use. It allows researchers to access and analyze glider data sets using common tools regardless of the glider type or organization that deployed the glider. OOI serves data to these repositories in two ways. When the gliders are in the water, data are telemetered, providing near real-time data to these platforms. Once the gliders are recovered, data are downloaded, metadata provided, and data are resubmitted to the Glider DAC as a permanent record. The behind-the-scene process transmitting this huge amount of data is quite complex. OOI Data Team members, Collin Dobson of the Coastal and Global Scale Nodes at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Stuart Pearce of the Coastal Endurance Array at Oregon State University (OSU) teamed up to streamline the process and catch up on a backlog of submission of recovered data. Pearce took the lead in getting the OOI data into the DAC. In 2018, he began writing code for a system to transmit near real-time and recovered data. Once the scripts (processing code) were operational by about mid-2019, Pearce implemented them to streamline the flow of Endurance Array glider data into the DAC. Dobson then adopted the code and applied it to the transmission of glider data from the Pioneer, Station Papa, and Irminger Sea Arrays into the repository. As it turned out, timing was optimum. “ I finished my code at the same time that the Glider DAC allowed higher resolution recovered datasets to be uploaded,” said Pearce. “So I was able to adjust my code to accommodate the upload of any scientific variable as long as it had a CF compliant standard name to go with it.” This opened up a whole range of data that could be transmitted in a consistent fashion to the DAC. CF refers to the “Climate and Forecast” metadata conventions that provide community accepted guidance for metadata variables and sets standards for designating time ranges and locations of data collection. Dobson gave an example of the name convention for density: Sea_water_density. “Being CF compliant ensures your data have the required metadata and makes the data so much more usable across the board,” added Dobson. “If I wanted to include oxygen as a variable, for example, I have to make sure to use the CF standard name for dissolved oxygen and report the results in CF standard units.” The Endurance Array team was the first group to add any of the non-CTD variables into the Glider DAC. This important step forward was recognized by the glider community, and was announced at a May 2019 workshop at Rutgers with 150 conveyors of glider data in attendance. One of Pearce’s gliders was used as the example of how and what could be achieved with the new code. To help expedite the transfer of all gliders into the DAC, Pearce made his code open access. The additional metadata will help advance the work of storm forecasters, researchers, and others interested in improving understanding ocean processes.
Since its inaugural launch in October 2020, OOI has been working with users of Data Explorer to learn what features worked for them, which could be improved, and what could be added to optimize users’ experiences. This input has been put into practice and is now available for further testing on Data Explorer v1.1. Improvements made to this version include the addition of five new instrument data types: Wire-following, Surface-piercing, Cabled Deep and Shallow Profilers, and Cabled Single Point Velocity Meters. Changes were made to improve the display and use of ERDDAP data. Now it is possible to print custom configuration of time-series and data comparison charts. A global search capability was added to allow users to use search terms to discover data sets in the Data Explorer. The search and navigation functions were tweaked to also find the data sets across all instruments and times. Other behind-the-scenes fixes were implemented to improve the site’s overall operability and functionality for users. The release notes can be viewed here. “This version of Data Explorer incorporates suggestions from its growing community of users. We’re pleased to have received feedback that is serving to make Data Explorer a tool that meets users’ needs, which is our ultimate goal.” said Jeffrey Glatstein, OOI Data Delivery Lead and Senior Manager of Cyberinfrastructure. A preview of the new features of Data Explorer v1.1 was held on 9 April 2021 and can be viewed below [embed]https://youtu.be/WhXgQ5qe78E[/embed] :
It’s official, the next location of the OOI (Ocean Observatories Initiative) Coastal Pioneer Array is the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) and the move will take place in 2024. The geographic footprint championed during the NSF-sponsored Innovations Lab #1 is the region of the MAB between Cape Hatteras and Norfolk Canyon. This region offers opportunities to collect data on a wide variety of cross-disciplinary science topics including cross-shelf exchange, land-sea interactions associated with large estuarine systems, a highly productive ecosystem with major fisheries, and carbon cycle processes. This location also offers opportunities to improve our understanding of hurricane development, tracking and prediction, and offshore wind partnerships. As background, the OOI has been in full operations since 2016. The OOI Pioneer Array was designed to be relocatable, and in 2020 the Ocean Observatories Initiative Facilities Board (OOIFB) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) launched a process to select the next OOI Pioneer Array location. A Phase 1 Innovations Lab was held in March 2021 to explore possible locations based on scientific questions of interest. The inputs received helped NSF make its decision to select the MAB. A second (Phase 2) Innovations Lab is scheduled for the week of June 21-25. During this Lab, participants will work to further identify and refine the opportunities afforded by the new Pioneer Array location. Selected participants will be exploring how the Pioneer Array sensors and platforms can be optimized to achieve science and education goals at the new site, based on environmental, logistical, and infrastructural considerations. Partnership and collaboration potentials at the new location will also be discussed. The OOIFB, in partnership with Know Innovations, will again be facilitating the second Innovation Lab. There is also an open to all Microlab scheduled for May 12th if you are intrigued and want to learn more: (https://ooifb.org/meetings/pioneer-array-phase2/). The ocean community is invited to help identify new design considerations that can enable exciting research endeavors at the chosen location. Scientists, educators, and other stakeholders are encouraged to apply for the Phase 2 Innovations Lab. Please visit the OOIFB website for more information.
[caption id="attachment_21045" align="alignnone" width="640"] Pioneer Array data is now available on NERACOOS' new Mariner's Dashboard. This is but one example of how OOI data are integrated into other data repositories to maximize their benefit and use.[/caption] OOI shares data with partner repositories and institutions that host similar data but have different user bases. These partnerships expand the data available for forecasting models, help provide insight into current ocean conditions, and serve as important resources for many ranging from fishers and other maritime users to land-based researchers and students. With the exception of the Station Papa Array, the OOI Coastal and Global Arrays maintain surface buoys. Instruments deployed on these buoys measure meteorological variables such as air temperature, barometric pressure, northward and eastward wind velocities, precipitation, solar radiation, and surface water properties of sea surface temperature and salinity. Other instruments on the moorings collect wave data, such as significant wave height, period, and direction. These data are then consumed by national and regional networks to improve accuracy of weather forecasting models. The Regional Cabled Array (RCA) consists of fiber-optic cables off the Oregon coast that provide power, bandwidth, and communication to seafloor instrumentation and moorings with instrumented profiling capabilities.A diverse array of geophysical, chemical, and biological sensors, a high-definition camera, and digital still cameras on the seafloor and mooring platforms, provide real-time information on processes operating on and below the seafloor and throughout the water column, including recording of seafloor eruptions, methane plume emissions and climate change. These data are available for community use. Since 2015, the RCA has fed data into Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), the primary source for data related to earthquakes and other seismic activity. In addition, data including zooplankton sonar data, are being utilized within the Pangeo ecosystem for community visualization and access and pressure data are incorporated into NOAA’s operational tsunami forecasting system. Helping Improve Models and Forecasting One of the recipients of OOI data is the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service. NDBC maintains a data repository and website, offering a range of standardized real-time and near real-time meteorological data. Data such as wind speed and direction, air and surface water temperature, and wave height and direction are made available to the broader oceanographic and meteorological community. “Many researchers go to NDBC for their data, “said Craig Risien, a research associate with OOI’s Endurance Array and Cyberinfrastructure Teams, who helps researchers gain access to and use OOI data. “NBDC is a huge repository of data and it's easy to access. So there's a low barrier for researchers and students who are looking for information about wind speed, water temperature and a slew of other data. OOI contributing to this national repository significantly increases its data reach, allowing OOI data to be used by as many people as possible. “ OOI sea surface temperature data also make their way into the operational Global Real-Time Ocean Forecast System (RTOFS) at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), another part of NOAA’s National Weather Service. RTOFS ingests sea surface temperature and salinity data from all available buoys into the Global Telecommunications System (GTS). OOI glider data also are pushed in near real-time to the US Integrated Ocean Observing System Glider Data Assembly Center (DAC). From there, the data goes to the GTS where it can be used by the operational modeling centers such as NCEP and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. The GTS is like a giant vacuum sucking up near real-time observations from all sorts of different platforms deployed all over the world. On a typical day, the GTS ingests more than 7,600 data points from fixed buoys alone. As a result of this vast input, researchers can go to the GTS, pull available data, and assimilate that information into any model to improve its prediction accuracy. Advancing Forecasting of Submarine Eruptions As the first U.S. ocean observatory to span a tectonic plate, RCA’s data are an invaluable contributor to IRIS’s collection. Since 2015, the user community has downloaded >20 Terabytes of RCA seismometer data from the IRIS repository. Fourteen different sampling locations include key sites at Axial Seamount on the Juan de Fuca mid-ocean ridge spreading center, near the toe of the Cascadia Margin and Southern Hydrate Ridge. RCA data are catalogued and available on the IRIS site, using the identifier “OO.” [caption id="attachment_21046" align="alignleft" width="300"] Data from short period seismometers installed at RCA's Axial Seamount and Southern Hydrate Ridge sites are streamed live to IRIS. Credit: UW/NSF-OOI/Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility, V13.[/caption] “RCA is a critical community resource for seismic data. Axial Seamount, for example, which erupted in 1998, April 2011, was the site of more than 8,000 earthquakes over a 24-hour period April 24, 2015 marking the start of large eruption,” explained Deb Kelley, PI of the RCA. “Being able to witness and measure seismic activity in real time is providing scientists with invaluable insights into eruption process, which along with co-registered pressure measurements is making forecasting possible of when the next eruption may occur. We are pleased to share data from this volcanically and hydrothermally active seamount so researchers the world over can use it to better understand processes happening at mid ocean ridges and advance forecasting capabilities for the first time of when a submarine eruption may occur.” Providing Data with Regional Implications [caption id="attachment_21047" align="alignright" width="203"] Data from Endurance Array buoy 46100 are fed into WCOFS, where they are accessible to maritime users. Credit: OSU[/caption] OOI also provides data to regional ocean observing partners. Data from two Endurance Array buoys (46099and 46100), for example, are fed into a four-dimensional U.S. West Coast Operational Forecast System (WCOFS), which serves the maritime user community. WCOFS generates water level, current, temperature and salinity nowcast and forecast fields four times per day. The Coastal Pioneer Array is within the future Northeastern Coast Operational Forecast System (NECOFS). Once operational, Pioneer’s observations will potentially be used for WCOFS data assimilation scenario experiments. Coastal Endurance Array data are shared with the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), which is part of IOOS, and the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON). Endurance data are ingested by the NANOOS Visualization System, which provides easy access to observations, forecasts, and data visualizations. Likewise, for GOA-ON, the Endurance Array provides observations useful for measuring ocean acidification. Data from three of the Pioneer Array buoys also are part of the Mariners' Dashboard, a new ocean information interface at the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS). Visitors can use the Dashboard to explore the latest conditions and forecasts from the Pioneer Inshore (44075), Central (44076), and Offshore (44077) mooring platforms, in addition to 30+ other observing platforms throughout the Northeast. “We are working hard to distribute the OOI data widely through engagement with multiple partners, which together are helping inform science, improve weather and climate forecasts, and increase understanding of the ocean,” added Al Plueddemann, PI of the Coastal and Global Scale Nodes, which include the Pioneer, Station Papa, and Irminger Sea Arrays.
Application Deadline: May 20, 2021The Data Systems Committee (DSC) of the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative Facility Board (OOIFB) was established to help ensure timely and reliable access to high-quality Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) data. The Committee evaluates and recommends improvements to the data services policies and practices of the OOI Facility that will lead to more efficient and effective scientific use of OOI data. The DSC is now soliciting applications to fill one open position. The appointment will fill the remainder of an unexpired term and will be effective starting in May 2021 and run through September 2023. The selected individual will be eligible to serve a second term of 3-years. The DSC holds at least one in-person meeting per year and one web conference each month. Some of the objectives of the committee include:
- Keeping abreast of the current state of the OOI cyberinfrastructure and data services with the goal of helping to promote maximum scientific use of OOI data. These efforts will be informed by the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship, such that data are: a) Findable, b) Accessible, c) Interoperable, and d) Reusable.
- Encouraging the use of best practices, standards, and naming conventions established by the oceanographic community.
- Engaging with the user community to gauge user needs in regard to OOI data systems, and to facilitate the promotion of a positive user experience.
- Staying current on potential new modes of data service and access, data analysis methodologies, and related technologies that facilitate the use of OOI data.
- Engaging with the OOI Program team regarding the priorities and plans of the OOI cyberinfrastructure groups.
- Making recommendations for data products, usage metrics, and improving the user experience on the OOI Data Explorer, as well as other data service systems employed by the OOI.