Deployment of wireless sensor network to study oceanography of coral reefs

Bondarenko, Olga, Kininmonth, Stuart, and Kingsford, Michael (2010) Deployment of wireless sensor network to study oceanography of coral reefs. International Journal on Advances in Networks and Services, 3 (1 and 2). pp. 92-102.

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Abstract

Great Barrier Reef Australia (GBR) is affected by cold water intrusions originating in the Coral Sea and upwelled on the reef. Therefore biological interest in GBR upwelling has been driven by the view that upwelled waters rich in nutrients boost plankton production and overall productivity of the GBR system. Upwelling can be a high frequency short-duration event and therefore it may be challenging to quantify synchrony between physical and biological change impacting the reef. We deployed a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) for in situ monitoring of upwelling. Temperature is a good proxy for upwelling however 3D dense spatial data is required to correctly describe upwelling and their impact on plankton abundance. The array of underwater sensors was deployed at various depth on the coral reef in Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island, GBR. We propose that the temperature data is communicated real time via ad hoc network using RF signal to the on-shore base station. This permits us to collect the plankton data in real-time synchronized to the temperature changes. To explore the utility of WSN we also deployed data loggers to collect temperature data from the same location. This paper outlines the methods of the deployment of WSN for ecological research. It also describes preliminary results. Our preliminary findings did not produce sufficient evidence for upwelling however we did find that the water temperature can vary by as much as 1 °C even on a small spatial scale due to stratification of the water column. Stratification can influence depth-related abundance of plankton and the supply of food to reef associated organism however we could not confirm this with statistical confidence due to the lack of plankton data collected while water stratification was present. The use of robust real-time WSN to trigger plankton collection at the events of upwelling or stratification would have assisted with this investigation.

Item ID: 16313
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: oceanography; plankton; wireless sensor network; stratification; tidal upwelling; temperature; coral reef
ISSN: 1942-2644
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2011 05:59
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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