Integrated Marine Observing System

IMOS has provided Australia with a step-change increase in its marine observing capability over the last decade. This has involved establishing a portfolio of platform-based Facilities to acquire the observations, an integrated set of science Nodes to guide the design and drive the uptake, and a clear focus on Data to enable ready access, use and reuse.


IMOS currently has a portfolio of ten Facilities that undertake systematic and sustained observing of Australia’s marine environment, across scales (from open ocean, onto the continental shelf, and into the coast), and across disciplines (physics, biogeochemistry, and biology and ecosystems).

These Facilities have operating institutions, which include seven Universities, three publicly funded research agencies (PFRAs), two federal, one state, and our national metocean agency.  Collectively, they provide a capability that was unimaginable before NCRIS was established and provided the incentive to build national research infrastructure through collaboration, not competition.

The current IMOS Facilities are:

  1. Argo Floats

  2. Ships of Opportunity

  3. Deep Water Moorings

  4. Ocean Gliders

  5. Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

  6. National Mooring Network

  7. Ocean Radar

  8. Animal Tracking

  9. Wireless Sensor Networks

  10. Satellite Remote Sensing


The Australian marine science and stakeholder community is large, diverse, and dispersed.  Nodes provide the means for IMOS to undertake national science and implementation planning, integrated across regions.  They identify the major research themes and science questions, and determine what we need to observe, where, when and how.  IMOS Node science and implementation plans have continued to be reviewed and developed over a number of years.  In total, they represent 650 pages of high quality, internationally peer reviewed planning that provides a tremendously strong scientific underpinning for IMOS.  


A key element of IMOS is that all observations are turned into Data that can be discovered, accessed, downloaded, used and reused in perpetuity.  Datasets and time series are essentially the research infrastructure that is being created and developed.  This has been achieved by having a separate Data Facility, the Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN), that is responsible for building and maintaining a national marine information infrastructure.  The infrastructure includes a geospatial portal as well as a metadata system, file formats, controlled vocabularies, file storage, servers, web services, and data tools.  

IMOS is a national collaborative research infrastructure, supported by Australian Government. It is operated by a consortium of institutions as an unincorporated joint venture, with the University of Tasmania as Lead Agent.

Data Profile
Integrated Marine Observing System has 1551 data records in Research Data Australia, which cover 1227 subjects areas including oceans, Temperature of the water body and Practical salinity of the water body and involve 120 group(s). All of the information provided by Integrated Marine Observing System can be accessed from the box on the right hand side of this page.
Subjects Covered