Grays Canyon Survey

Friday, July 30, 2010
Rock FIsh Near Grays Canyon
Mooring for the proposed 500m Endurance Array site

Schematic diagram of the mooring for the proposed 500 m Endurance Array site off the coast of Grays Harbor, WA. More information on the mooring can be found here

Flatfish During Grays Canyon Survey

Flatfish on bottom during Jason dive 507 at the potential site for the 500 m moorings.

The coastal margin west of Grays Harbor, Washington, will host three uncabled mooring sites as part of the Coastal Scale Nodes (CSN) component of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). This area is strongly influenced by fresh water issuing from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and from the Columbia River. Data from the mooring and glider arrays will be used to examine the dynamics of coastal upwelling, river-influenced shelf ecosystems, the impacts of ocean acidification, and El Niño and La Niña events within this highly dynamic system.

On Thursday, we deployed the robotic vehicle Sentry on a mission that successfully mapped a 2x2 km patch of the seafloor that we are considering for the permanent Endurance Array moorings. The candidate site, located on the North side of Grays Canyon, will contain two moorings, pictured here, with instruments to measure winds and sea surface conditions, the properties of the ocean water column, and conditions at the seafloor. While Sentry completed the mapping survey, the remotely operated tethered vehicle Jason dove to the seafloor and crossed the area giving us a view of the sediments and life on the seafloor.