New PacIOOS wave buoy deployed in waters off Hawai'i Island

Mar 13, 2012 By Melissa M. Iwamoto
Wave buoy in waters off Hilo

On March 4, 2012, Captain Roger Antonio navigated his 35-foot Force, China Girl, in waters off of Hawai‘i Island to deploy a new Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) Datawell Mark II Waverider Buoy.  The bright yellow buoy is in waters over 340 meters deep about 6.5 nautical miles northeast of Hilo Harbor.  PacIOOS is a program led by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.

According to PacIOOS Director Chris Ostrander, the general location for the buoy was chosen for two main reasons.  The first reason is “to provide information to commercial and recreational boaters on the ocean conditions outside the breakwater to assist in their safe and efficient operation of vessels in the coastal and open ocean.  The second is to provide real-time data on wave heights to assist the public, emergency responders, and county officials with preparing for and responding to big wave events that have been known to overtop and close coastal roads as well as impact coastal homes and businesses.”  The U.S. Coast Guard helped identify the specific location for the buoy in order to avoid ship traffic transiting to and from Hilo Harbor.

Datawell Mark II Waverider Buoy ready for deployment

The buoy in Hilo joins the existing PacIOOS network of seven real-time wave buoys in Hawaiʻi, Guam, and the Marshall Islands to provide streaming data on wave height, direction, period, and water temperature to the PacIOOS Hawai‘i Data Explorer, the PacIOOS website, to the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and via Twitter @buoy51206.  Data streaming is made possible through long-term partnerships between PacIOOS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and CDIP.

Jason Adolf, PhD, Assistant Professor of Marine Science at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UHH), is excited about the launch of the Hilo wave buoy.  In addition to helping commercial traffic in Hilo Harbor, Dr. Adolf believes the will be useful for “fishermen, the many paddling clubs located at Hilo Bay Front beach, surfers interested in surfing Honoli‘i and/or Bayfront, and educators that use Hilo Bay to teach shipboard classes, such at UHH Marine Science.”

PacIOOS is the Pacific Islands regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The mission of PacIOOS is to provide timely, reliable, and accurate information on the open and coastal ocean waters of the Pacific Islands to ensure a healthy, clean, productive ocean and resilient coastal zone. 

Explore further: New study confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier

Provided by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

4 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Professor publishes study on detection of human noroviruses

Oct 28, 2011

Coastal water is subjected to contamination with a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms, which presents a major health risk to recreational water users. The current use of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) as an indicator ...

A swirling oasis of life

Feb 14, 2012

A serpentine eddy swirls in the southern Indian Ocean several hundred kilometers off the coast of South Africa in this natural-color image, acquired by NASA’s Terra satellite on December 26, 2011.

Waves of Power

May 17, 2005

New buoys convert the ocean's energy into electricity Whether witnessed as destructive waves, gently rolling swells or mesmerizing rhythms along the shoreline, the sea's energy is immense. In fact, experts esti ...

Recommended for you

Excavated ship traced to Colonial-era Philadelphia

1 hour ago

Four years ago this month, archeologists monitoring the excavation of the former World Trade Center site uncovered a ghostly surprise: the bones of an ancient sailing ship. Tree-ring scientists at Columbia ...

Tropical tempests take encouragement from environment

2 hours ago

Mix some warm ocean water with atmospheric instability and you might have a recipe for a cyclone. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Atlanta Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory ...

User comments : 0