MGGD Research Areas


Ocean observing technologies and applications

Longer term sensing of the environment has been a rapidly growing priority, especially within the field of marine biogeochemistry over the past decade. The Division of Marine Geology and Geochemistry (MGG) in the Oceanography Department (OCN) of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) maintains an active focus on existing and developing technologies and applications for ocean observing components, networks, and data streams. Working toward maintaining a permanent scientific presence in the environment is an important thrust of ocean sciences today because of the significant potential for answering questions arising from complex and synergistic oceanographic processes, independent of many spatial and temporal sampling biases.

Members of the Division support innovative collaborations among other Oceanography Divisions, SOEST Departments, universities, and industry. Current studies focus on developing prototype products and techniques, optimizing field deployment systems, and demonstrating the power of in situ measurements through rigorous comparisons with traditional sampling and analytical techniques.

The Division’s interests in the areas of ocean observing technologies and applications may be summarized by the following themes:

Borehole CORK thumbnail graphic.

This deep ocean basement observatory consists of a series of “CORK” observatories installed in 6 IODP boreholes, penetrating through >200 m of sediment and into the underlying basement rock. Chemical and microbiological tracers (fluorescent microspheres and stained deep water microbes) will be injected into the basement at the injection hole and their transport and dispersion will be monitored at 5 observation holes at spatial scales of 10s m to several km and time scales of hours to years. This effort is an important part of interdisciplinary studies of hydrogeological, geochemical and microbial geochemical/ecological characteristis of the deep basement biosphere.

GeoMICROBE sled thumbnail photo.

CORK observatories affixed to Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) boreholes offer an unprecedented opportunity to study biogeochemical properties and microbial diversity in subseafloor hydrothermal fluids. A CORK sampling manifold and “GeoMicrobiology In Situ Cork Research Observatory for Biosphere Experiments (GeoMICROBE) Sled” were designed to address the technical difficulty associated with making geochemical measurements of potentially rapidly changing temperature and redox conditions while simultaneously sampling for microbiological parameters,. The GeoMICROBE consists of both a multi-sampling in situ filtration system and an on-board in situ electrochemical analyzer capable of providing simultaneous detection of O2, H2O2, HS-, S(0), Sx2-, S2O3, S4O6, Fe(II), Fe(III) (aq), FeS(aq), Mn(II), and Zn(II), during real-time or unattended data-logging mode.

Kilo Nalu thumbnail graphic.

Design of the Kilo Nalu Nearshore Reef Observatory, including nodes at depths of 10m (A), 20m (B), 30m (C), and 40 m (D); thermistor-chain arrays (A,B,C,D); acoustic Doppler current meters (A,B); and Seahorse seawater profiler (B). The sandy bed (SB) geochemistry site and the Rough Boundary Profiler (RBP) are at 10m. Spatial sampling includes REMUS autonomous underwater vehicle surveys (E), shipboard observations (F) and satellite remote sensing (G).

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