National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2011


Send, U., R. Weller, D. Wallace, F. Chavez, R. Lampitt, T.. Dickey, M. Honda, K. Nittis, R. Lukas, M. McPhaden, and R. Feely

doi: 10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.79, In Proceedings of the "OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society" Conference (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21–25 September 2009, Hall, J., D.E. Harrison, and D. Stammer, Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306 (2010)

The OceanSITES project coordinates and facilitates the implementation of a global open-ocean network of sustained time series sites. It was conceived as a result of the OceanObs99 conference, where need for such a system was recognized and endorsed by the community, to complement the other existing components of the global ocean observing system such as ARGO, satellites, ship hydrography, and underway data such as XBTs. OceanSITES now is an official component of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and of JCOMM (via the DBCP), and recognized and supported by CLIVAR and POGO. We review the rationale for sustained time series observations and the status of the OceanSITES effort, including data management. We also present recommendations on the forward trajectory for OceanSITES. Specifically, we see value in commitments to increased uniformity, with common sampling strategies and deployment of multidisciplinary sensors. This could be accomplished by having a core or backbone set of the sites equipped with common sensor suites. These sensor suites would provide atmospheric, physical and circulation observations and also expand the scientific focus for this core network to address CO2 and oxygen dynamics in the upper layer of the ocean and their relation to daily to seasonal phytoplankton primary production, net community production and mixed layer dynamics. A vision and goal for OceanSITES is to collaborate across disciplines, agencies, and countries to implement, share and mutually enhance sites to and platforms to establish this backbone system. Another proposed step forward would be the development of a standard mooring design, essentially an OceanSITES blueprint, that can be replicated anywhere, coupled with training and manuals for mutually agreed procedures based on the expertise of the entire OceanSITES community. A goal will also be to work across borders and program boundaries to exchange disciplinary, technical and sensor expertise.

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