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Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center

Monterey Bay Studies

Monterey Bay Studies


1995 Current and Sediment Study in Monterey Canyon

Monterey Canyon Mooring Set-up

Click on the equipment for more information.

Float, current meter, sediment trap, anchor

anchor anchor sediment trap current meter current meter anchor

The exact design of each mooring was specific to each measurement site, although there were many features common to each:

  • All instruments at a site were attached to a single mooring.
  • Either a single or dual acoustic release package was used to connect the mooring to the anchor.

The types of current meters used were vector-averaging current meters (VACM) and vector-averaging current meters with attached transmissometer (VTCT) to record water clarity data. The meters measured the average current direction and speed every 15 minutes.

These instruments not only measured currents, but the individual meters were outfitted with different sensors to measure several variables at each site. These additional data types were collected:

  • Water clarity (transmission)was measured using transmissometers with a 25-cm path length. The clear water reading for each transmissometer was recorded before each deployment. The sample rate was 15 minutes.
  • Conductivity, which tells us how salty the water is, was measured using conductivity cells. Each conductivity cell was calibrated before each deployment. The sample rate was the same as for the associated current meter.
  • Water temperature was measured with temperature sensors installed in the VACM's and VTCT's or data loggers. All temperature sensors were calibrated before deployment. The sample rate was the same as for the associated current meter.

An Anderson sediment trap 0.5-m in diameter was used to collect the resuspended sediment at each site. Intervalometers that dispense discrete layers of Teflon beads at a specified interval (1 month in this study) were used in many of the sediment traps to generate a time base for the resuspended sediment.

All the moorings for this study were designed and prepared by the Sediment Transport Support Team at the Woods Hole Field Center, a part of the USGS Marine and Coastal Geology Program.

For additional information on this study, contact Marlene Noble


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