Walls, Anne (BP) | O'Brien, Rob (BP) | Clarke, Jim (BP) | Pereira Costa, Sofia (BP) | Oliveira, Shirley (BP) | Smith, Ken (MBARI) | Priede, Imants (Oceanlab) | Vardaro, Michael (Oregon State University) | Rowe, Gilbert (Texas A&M) | Bailey, David (University of Glasgow) | Milligan, Rosanna (University of Glasgow) | Ruhl, Henry (NOC Southampton) | Sangolay, Bomba (INIP)
In early 2009, two Deep-ocean Environmental Long-term Observatory Systems (DELOS) were installed in around 1,400m water depth in Block 18, Angola. The intention is that they will provide a unique long-term (25 year) dataset of deep-ocean variability. Each station consists of a fixed platform structure into which serviceable modules containing oceanographic, acoustic and camera equipment are placed. One monitoring station is located near to subsea infrastructure, and the other is located at the same depth but distant from, and upstream of, any oil industry activities. This far-field platform also has a sediment trap module. This will enable both long term natural and anthropogenic changes in the physical, chemical and biological environment to be identified and investigated. The data will also allow an understanding of the pace of recovery from unforeseen impacts and provide a linkage between marine biodiversity and climate change.
An international scientific steering committee initially developed the DELOS concept and specified the equipment. It now oversees the research associated with data interpretation.
The modules are recovered approximately every twelve months, and the data downloaded, batteries changed and the equipment serviced before being returned to the seabed. This paper will discuss the pros and cons of the intermittent data collection and how the data are managed and interpreted, including sharing with our Angolan partners.