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Brief description The IMOS National Reference Station Sub-Facility (NRS) comprises of a series of national reference stations designed to monitor particular oceanographic phenomena in Australian coastal ocean waters. The reference stations increase the number of long term time series observations available to researchers, both in terms of variables recorded, temporal distribution and geographical extent. Data is collected using moored sensors and in monthly water sampling field trips.
As the project progresses NRS moorings will be fitted for telemetry and data will become available in real time from each of the NRS sites around Australia.
There are 7 current NRS sites: Two in Queensland, one in the Northern Territory, one in Western Australia, one in Tasmania, one in New South Wales and one in South Australia. There is one former site at Esperance, the mooring was retrieved in December 2013 and not redeployed; and one former site at Ningaloo Reef, with the mooring retrieved in August 2014 and not redeployed. Operation of the NRS sub-facility is distributed between several operators and is coordinated nationally.
NATIONAL REFERENCE STATIONS
The IMOS national reference stations will extend the number of long term time series observations in Australian coastal waters in terms of variables recorded both in their temporal distribution and geographical extent. It will also provide for biological, physical and chemical sampling and for 'ground truth' of remotely sensed observations. Currently there are only 3 long term reference stations and these would be extended to 7 distributed around the continent.
At each coastal reference station a mooring will be deployed with sensors for conductivity, temperature, depth, fluorescence, dissolved oxygen, photo-synthetically available radiation (PAR), fluorescence and measurement of turbidity at three depths - the surface, seabed and an intermediate depth. At the seafloor Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) will be deployed. All reference stations will telemeter a reduced data set via Iridium satellite for real time monitoring.
Physical sampling will be undertaken at each of the reference stations on a monthly basis (the last sampling occurred at the Esperance station in July 2013, and the Ningaloo station in August 2013). The physical samples will be analysed for nutrients, plankton species, both visibly and genetically, and pCO2. Biological sampling will greatly improve Australia's capability to meet its obligations for ecosystem based management and allow many researchers the opportunity to investigate possible long term changes in ecology that are likely to be linked to climate variability and wide scale validation of remotely sensed (satellite) observations of plant biomass.
Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) is enabled by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). It is operated by a consortium of institutions as an unincorporated joint venture, with the University of Tasmania as Lead Agent.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS)
South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)