MARACOOS and our partners use various technologies and platforms to collect data and predictions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
High Frequency Radar
High Frequency (HF) Radar is used by ocean researchers to measure the speed of ocean surface currents. These land-based stations report currents every hour and have practical uses such as reducing search and rescue area for the US Coast Guard and helping emergency managers respond to oil spills and harmful algal blooms.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles such as gliders are like underwater drones that adjust their buoyancy to dive and climb in a saw tooth pattern. Gliders can be outfitted with a variety of sensors and are a low-cost solution to collecting many types of data, including temperature, salinity, oxygen content and more.
Buoys collect ocean and weather data on the world’s oceans and lakes. Moored buoys, sometimes referred to as simply “moorings,” are connected to the seafloor by chains or ropes and range from 5 to nearly 40 feet in diameter.
MARACOOS receives data such as sea surface temperature and cloud cover from both short-range and long-term forecasting satellites. Both types of satellites are necessary for providing a complete global weather monitoring system.
Drifters are free-floating buoys that measure surface currents by drifting along the water’s surface. These instruments, also known as self-locating datum marker buoys (SLDMB), work with satellites to record the tracks of ocean currents as they drift.
Estuary stations are weather and water data collection instruments fixed to piers or attached to permanent structures in waterways. These stations are typically located at the edge of a creek or wetland.
Water Level Stations
The Cooperative Observer Program (CO-OPS) and US Army Corps Poplar Island stations are primarily installed for delivering information on tides, water levels, and water temperature, but in many cases they also provide meteorological data.
MARACOOS ingests coastal river data from US Geological Survey gauges. These gauges are stationed in rivers and bays all throughout the US.
Models can predict ocean or atmosphere weather from minutes to months in advance. All of the models on the MARACOOS site are provided by US government agencies or MARACOOS university and private research partners.