Collaborative Monterey Bay Buoy Launch
NDBC/MBARI Buoy Image of buoy deployment onboard the R/V Point Sur, courtesy of Paul Coenen (MBARI). Click to enlarge image.
NDBC/MBARI BuoyImage of deployed buoy offshore Monterey Bay, courtesy of Paul Coenen (MBARI). Click to enlarge image.
NDBC/MBARI BuoyMap showing NDBC 46042 and MBARI M2 buoys and the new collaborative buoy locations. Courtesy of Kim Fulton-Bennett (MBARI).

On May 26th, 2011 a unique oceanographic buoy was launched 30 miles offshore of Monterey Bay (see images on right column). The idea for this buoy was conceived and facilitated by CeNCOOS. Since the late-1980's, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) have operated two seperate buoys very near each other offshore Monterey Bay (see image on right column). These buoys recorded some of the same types of data but also some different ones. CeNCOOS proposed combining the best features of both buoys into a single buoy that would reduce the costs of maintenance and data management.

NDBC and MBARI worked together to add MBARI and NDBC instruments to the collaborative or 'hybrid' buoy that was designed and built by NDBC. It is a new design, different from all the other NDBC buoys, that may become the new standard depending on the result of this project and future funding. One of the many unique features is the ADCP instrument for measuring ocean currents (not on other NBDC buoys) that is built into the buoy body, collecting data through a window on the bottom (visible in the image at top right). Unlike other NDBC buoys this one records data below the surface (to 300 meters). The numerous data types recorded by the new buoy are available through a combination of the CeNCOOS, NDBC and MBARI websites as indicated below.

See MBARI News Release for more information on this collaborative effort.

Map of MBARI buoys including new MBARI/NDBC 46044 buoy

Buoy Data (Note: Data are still being verified and should be used with that in mind)

CeNCOOS webpages with plots of data from the new buoy:

NDBC displays data from the above variables as well as data on waves:

MBARI displays data and plots for chlorophyll fluorescence, dissolved oxygen, dissolved nitrogen and optical backscatter (pCO2 data will be added in the future):


Sources of further information:

- MBARI News Release

- Virtual tour of the National Data Buoy Center