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NEPTUNE sea laboratory

May 22, 2007

NEPTUNE (North-East Pacific Time-Series Undersea Networked Experiments), which I posted about last month, will be a state-of-the-art observational system in the ocean and on the sea floor off the coast of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. It will deliver data real-time and be interactive

This is very exciting. The Earth’s oceans are the last frontier on this planet regarding scientific exploration and observation. We still have yet to actually document many of the processes that occur in the submarine realm. The NEPTUNE website (check it out…it’s pretty cool) lists a few of these:

  • massive storms
  • erupting submarine volcanoes
  • giant earthquakes
  • marine mammal feeding and hunting patterns
  • phytoplankton blooms in the upper ocean
  • releases of microbes that live in the rocks beneath the seafloor and thrive on a diet of volcanic gas

And, of course, what everybody wants to see caught in the act — turbidity currents!
Oh wait…I guess that’s just me.
Sediment transport is indeed one of their goals…I will be very interested to see the data come in and published in the coming years.

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