Underwater Sensor Technology in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

2015/11/25

Ocean Networks Canada, ONC, has recently expanded the capabilities of it’s underwater platform that has been operating since September 2012 as an Arctic Ocean monitoring site in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, since September 2012. In August 2015, twelve new sensors were deployed at the underwater site, including sensors for measureing pCO2, pH and Nitrate. The full article can be viewed here.

Ocean Networks Canada's Arctic Observatory Network. Image courtesy: Ocean Networks Canada.

Ocean Networks Canada’s Arctic Observatory Network. Image courtesy: Ocean Networks Canada.

The sensor platform is cabled to a shore station where power is supplied, and real-time data is transmitted 24 hours a day and 365 days a year via the ONC data portal, Oceans 2.0. The platform is located 8 meters beneath the surface in waters that have an average annual temperature of less than 4 degrees Celsius.

Ocean Networks Canada's Cambridge Bay Underwater Sensor Platform. Photo courtesy: Ocean Networks Canada.

Ocean Networks Canada’s Cambridge Bay Underwater Sensor Platform. Photo courtesy: Ocean Networks Canada.

The Arctic poses significant challenges to both scientists and engineers because of sea ice, cold conditions, and lack of infrastructure. Long-term, reliable autonomous measurements at high latitudes are extremely important in these areas in order to better understand the processes that affect carbon fluxes and how these processes are changing on both short and long time scales.

The partial pressure of CO2 is being monitored by a CO2-Pro CV instrument from Pro-Oceanus. The instrument is programmed to monitoring pCO2 continuously while performing a zero CO2 measurement every 12 hours to correct for any sensor drift over time. The sensor is designed to work in cold waters for periods of up to a year or monger before any maintenance is required. These data are available for download on the Oceans 2.0 portal.

CO2-Pro CV installed on the Cambridge Bay Ocean Observatory. Photo courtesy: Ocean Networks Canada

CO2-Pro CV installed on the Cambridge Bay Ocean Observatory. Photo courtesy: Ocean Networks Canada.

pCO2 data from the Cambridge Bay observatory. Data from Ocean Networks Canada Data Portal.

pCO2 data from the Cambridge Bay observatory. Data from Ocean Networks Canada Data Portal.