Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) has deployed observing equipment in the oceans around Australia, with data freely and openly available through the IMOS Ocean Portal.
Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) was established in 2007 under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), with initial funding of $50M and co-investment of S44M from partners. It has successfully deployed a range of observing equipment in the oceans around Australia, making all of the data freely and openly available through the IMOS Ocean Portal (http://imos.aodn.org.au/webportal) for the benefit of Australian marine and climate science as a whole. With the injection of an additional $52M from the Education Investment Fund (EIF) in 2009, and up to $66M in further co-investment, IMOS will be extended out to mid-2013 and enhance its monitoring in the Southern Ocean and northern Australian waters. IMOS will be able to deliver a greater range of ocean data, to more stakeholders, for longer. IMOS is designed to be a fully-integrated, national system, observing at ocean-basin and regional scales, and covering physical, chemical and biological variables. IMOS Facilities, operated by ten different institutions within the National Innovation System, are funded to deploy equipment and deliver data streams for use by the entire Australian marine and climate science community and its international collaborators. IMOS observations are guided by science planning undertaken collaboratively across the Australian marine and climate science community. This is a large, diverse, dispersed community, and it makes sense to develop the science planning through a series of integrated Nodes – a ‘Bluewater and Climate’ Node focused on the open ocean, and five ‘Regional Nodes’ covering the continental shelf and coastal seas of Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Southern Australia and Tasmania. Leaders of the Nodes come together to form a national steering committee that oversees the whole process, and Node science plans are subjected to international peer review on a rolling basis to ensure the planned science is world-class. There are five major research themes that unify IMOS science plans and related observations: Multi-decadal ocean change, Climate variability, Major boundary currents, Continental shelf processes, and Biological responses.