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ENABLING OCEAN RESEARCH IN THE 21 ST CENTURY Implementation of a Network of Ocean Observatories Committee on the Implementation of a Seafloor Observatory Network for Oceanographic Research Ocean Studies Board Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS · 500 Fifth Street, N.W. · Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract/Grant No.56-DKNA-1-95107 and 56-DGNA-1-00001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opin- ions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authoress and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08990-5 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-52645-0 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number 2003112526 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); or on the Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Stienre, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating soci- ety of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedi- cated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its mem- bers, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advis- ing the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sci- ences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal gov- ernment. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering commu- nities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
COMMITTEE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF A SEAFLOOR OBSERVATORY NETWORK FOR OCEANOGRAPHIC RESEARCH ROBERT S. DETRICK, OR. (Chair), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts ARTHUR B. BAGGEROER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge EDWARD F. DELONG, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, California FRED K. DUENNEBIER, University of Hawaii, Honolulu ANN E. GARGETT, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia G. ROSS HEATH, University of Washington, Seattle JASON I. HYON, ret Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena THOMAS C. JOHNSON, University of Minnesota, Duluth DREW L. MICHEL, TSC Holdings, Inc., Houston, Texas JOAN OLTMAN-SHAY, NorthWest Research Associates, Inc., Bellevue, Washington SYLVIE POULIQUEN, Institut franc~ais de recherche pour ['exploitation de la mer, Plouzane, France OSCAR M.E. SCHOFIELD, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey ROBERT A. WELLER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts Staff JOANNE BINTZ, Study Director NANCY CAPUTO, Senior Project Assistant lV
OCEAN STUDIES BOARD NANCY RABALAIS (Chair), Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin ARTHUR BAGGEROER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JAMES COLEMAN, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LARRY CROWDER, Duke University, Beaufort, North Carolina RICHARD B. DERISO, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, La rolla, California ROBERT B. DITTON, Texas A&M University, College Station EARL DOYLE, Shell Oil (ret.), Sugar Land, Texas ROBERT DUCK, Texas A&M University, College Station VADM PAUL G. GAFFNEY, II, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey WAYNE R. GEYER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts STANLEY R. HART, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts MIRIAM KASTNER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California RALPH S. LEWIS, Connecticut Geological Survey (ret.), Hadlyme WILLIAM F. MARCUSON, III, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (ret.), Vicksburg, Mississippi JULIAN P. MCCREARY, OR., University of Hawaii, Honolulu JACQUELINE MICHEL, Research Planning, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina SCOTT NIXON, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett SHIRLEY A. POMPONI, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Fort Pierce, Florida FRED N. SPIESS, Univerisity of California, San Diego ION G. SUTINEN, University of Rhode Island, Kingston NANCY TARGETT, University of Delaware, Lewes Staff MORGAN GOPNIK, Director JENNIFER MERRILL, Senior Program Officer SUSAN ROBERTS, Senior Program Officer DAN WALKER, Senior Program Officer JOANNE BINTZ, Program Officer TERRY SCHAEFER, Program Officer ROBIN MORRIS, Financial Officer v
JOHN DANDELSKI, Research Associate SHIREL SMITH, Administrative Associate NANCY CAPUTO, Senior Project Assistant SARAH CAPOTE, Project Assistant BYRON MASON, Project Assistant vl
Preface In the ocean sciences, new technology inevitably leads to new discov- eries and to fundamental advances in basic knowledge. In the years fol- lowing World War II, for example, the first global-scale mapping and sampling of the seafloor by oceanographic research vessels led directly to the discovery of seafloor spreading and the development of the theory of plate tectonics which has since revolutionized ideas of earth structure and evolution. A decade later, the first exploration of mid-ocean ridges using deep-towed vehicles and manned submersibles resulted in the remark- able discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities with previ- ously unknown forms of life and a vast, still largely unexplored microbial biosphere below the seafloor. Over the past two decades, ocean physi- cists, chemists, biologists, and geologists have used a variety of tools, from instrumented buoys to deep-sea drilling, to redefine their under- standing of the ocean's role in controlling weather and longer-term cli- mate change. The ocean sciences are now on the threshold of another major techno- logical advance as the scientific community begins to establish a global, long-term presence in the oceans in order to understand the temporal variability of ocean systems on time scales ranging from seconds to de- cades or longer. This opportunity arises from the confluence of a number of emerging new technological capabilities, including: · telecommunications technology (e.g., satellites, fiber-optic subma- rine cables) that makes possible real-time telemetry of vast quantities of . . vll
. . . vlll PREFACE data to shore as well as real-time interactive control of instruments in even the most remote parts of the deep sea; · telecommunication cables that enable significant levels of power to operate instruments from the sea surface to the deep seafloor; · new sensors that make possible in situ measurements of physical, chemical, and biological processes; · computational and modeling capabilities to build more realistic, multidisciplinary, and predictive models of ocean phenomena; · data archival systems that can store, manipulate, and retrieve huge volumes of data from arrays of sensors; and · computer networks that can bring real-time data to the desktop, which could potentially vastly increase participation of researchers, stu- dents, educators and the general public in ocean research and discovery. The National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Implementation of a Seafloor Observatory Network for Oceanographic Research (Appen- dix A) was charged with addressing a number of issues related to the implementation of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Ocean Obser- vatories Initiative (OOI). The OOI would establish an observatory net- work, including coastal, regional, and global observatories, in order to facilitate basic research into physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes in the oceans. The goal of this report is to evaluate the readiness of the ocean science community, both scientifically and technically, to move ahead with the establishment of a research-driven ocean observa- tory network and to highlight the outstanding issues that must be ad- dressed in order to successfully implement this observatory system. These issues include the status of scientific planning and technical development of ocean observatory systems, factors that might affect the timing of ob- servatory construction and installation, the cost and logistical require- ments for observatory maintenance and operations, observatory needs for sensor development and data management, the impact of ocean obser- vatories on ships and deep submergence facilities available to the U.S. academic community, and the role of research-based observatories within the Integrated and Sustained Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and other international ocean-observing systems being developed and implemented primarily for operational purposes. The committee agreed that it was outside the scope of this study to evaluate the scientific merit of ocean research observatories, to carry out a detailed systems engineering design study, or to develop a comprehensive implementation plan and cost analysis. The NRC Committee included representatives from both academia and industry with expertise in a wide range of ocean sciences, as well as in data management and commercial ship and remotely operated vehicle
PREFACE lX (ROY) operations. This report builds on a previous NRC report titled Illuminating the Hidden Planet: The Future of Seafloor Observatory Science (National Research Council, 2000), which outlined a broad range of fun- damental scientific questions that would benefit from long-term, fixed ocean observatory sites. In arriving at its findings and recommendations, the NRC Committee also considered various reports on future ocean sci- ence research priorities, ocean observatory planning documents, recom- mendations from several recent workshops, and input from the ocean research community. At its first meeting in October 2002, the NRC Com- mittee held an open day-long information gathering session with presen- tations on recent workshops and observatory planning efforts by leaders in the ocean science community. During the first day of its second meet- ing in December 2002, the NRC Committee again held an open meeting; as a result, various individuals with interest or expertise in ocean obser- vatories attended and participated. This report makes clear that many significant technical, logistical, and organizational challenges will have to be addressed in order to establish a research-driven ocean observatory network. However, the NRC Commit- tee is optimistic that these challenges can be met and that the infrastruc- ture provided by the Ocean Observatories Initiative will enable a new era of ocean research and discovery, facilitating major advances in basic knowledge of the oceans in the coming decades. The NRC Committee hopes this report will act as a useful first step in ensuring that the great potential of ocean research observatories is realized. Robert S. Detrick Chair
Acknowledgments The committee would first like to acknowledge the contributions and support of its sponsor, the National Science Foundation. This report was greatly enhanced by the input of those invited speak- ers who gave presentations at the NRC Committee's first meeting: Larry Atkinson, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, and Ocean.US, Washington, D.C.; Peter Cornillon, University of Rhode Island, Narragan- sett; John Delaney, University of Washington, Seattle; Scott Glenn, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey; Alexandra Isern, National Sci- ence Foundation, Arlington, Virginia; Richard lahnke, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Savannah, Georgia; John Orcutt, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Tolla, California; Sarah Schoedinger, Consortium for Oceanographic Research & Education, Washington, D.C.; and Uwe Send, University of Kiel, Germany. These talks helped set the stage for fruitful discussions in the closed sessions that followed. The committee is also grateful to a number of people who provided important discussion and/or material for this report: Anna Boyette, Alan Chave, Lawrence Clark, Tommy Dickey, William Fornes, Kim Fulton- Bennett, Bruce Howe, Carolyn Keen, Andrew Maffei, Kathleen Patterson, Nancy Penrose, Emmeiline Romana, and Todd Walsh. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with pro- cedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as xl
. . xll A CKNO WLEDGMENTS possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integ- rity of the deliberative process. In addition, Margaret E. Sheer provided valuable copyediting assistance. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in their review of this report: Mary Altalo, SAIC, Potomac, Maryland Neil Bergano, Tyco Telecommunications, Eatontown, New Jersey Philip Bogdon, Gulf of Maine Ocean-Observing System(GoMOOS), Portland, Oregon William Boicourt, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge Harry Cox, Orincon Corporation, Falls Church, Virginia Kirk Evans, SAIC, McLean, Virginia Glen R. Flierl, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Mark Johnson, BP Deepwater Production, Houston, Texas David Martin, University of Washington, Seattle Mary Jane Perry, University of Maine, Walpole lack Sipress, Sipress Associates, Holmdel, New Jersey Fred N. Spiess, University of California, San Diego Sharon Walker, J.L. Scott Marine Education Center & Aquarium, Biloxi, Mississippi Although the reviewers listed above have provided many construc- tive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the re- port's conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John E. Flipse, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Texas A&M University, College Station, appointed by the Divison on Earth and Life Studies, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring com- mittee and the National Research Council.
Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Study Scope, 2 Key Issues, 3 Findings and Recommendations, 3 1 INTRODUCTION The National Science Foundation's Ocean Observatories Initiative, 16 Community Input to Ocean Observatories Initiative Planning, 21 Purpose of This Study, 26 Report Structure, 26 2 LESSONS FROM EXISTING OCEAN OBSERVATORIES Program Management, 30 Sensors, 30 Construction, Installation, and Testing, 32 Operation and Maintenance, 32 National Security, 35 Data Management, 35 Education and Public Outreach, 36 . . . x/// 1 13 28
xlv 3 STATUS OF PLANNING FOR PROPOSED RESEARCH-ORIENTED OCEAN OBSERVATORIES Global Observatory Planning, 37 Regional Observatory Planning, 55 Coastal Observatory Planning, 64 4 IMPLEMENTATION OF A NETWORK OF OCEAN OBSERVATORIES FOR RESEARCH Program Management, 72 Defining "Infrastructure" for Ocean Observatories, 79 Sensors and Instrumentation Needs, 82 Construction and Installation, 89 Operation and Maintenance, 101 National Security Issues, 107 Data Management, 110 Education and Public Outreach, 123 Phasing of Observatory Construction and Installation, 126 5 RELATED FACILITY NEEDS FOR AN OCEAN OBSERVATORIES NETWORK Ships, 138 Deep Submergence Assets, 148 Maintenance and Calibration of Instrumentation, 151 Other Enabling Technologies, 152 Role of Industry in Ocean Observatories, 154 6 RELATIONSHIP OF THE OCEAN OBSERVATORIES INITIATIVE TO OTHER OBSERVATORY EFFORTS Relationship between the Ocean Observatories Initiative and the Integrated and Sustained Ocean Observing System, 157 Relationship between the Ocean Observatories Initiative and Other National Ocean and Earth Observing Systems, 163 Relationship between the Ocean Observatories Initiative and International Research-Driven Observatory Programs, 165 CONTENTS 37 72 138 157 7 FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 168 Findings, 168 Conclusions and Recommendations, 176 REFERENCES 185
CONTENTS APPENDIXES A Committee and Staff Biographies, 189 B Acronym List and Glossary, 194 C Observatory Workshops and Workshop Reports, and Selected Reports/Documents on Ocean Observatory Science, 206 D Ocean Observation Programs Mentioned in This Report, 211 E Time-series Group Global Observatory Sites, 216 xv