MEET THE BUOY:    Data telemetry buoys house instrumentation that make air and water measurements.  Data is sent back to shore via a cell signal and provides near real-time information for boaters, scientists, and commercial fishermen.  

MEET THE BUOY:   Data telemetry buoys house instrumentation that make air and water measurements.  Data is sent back to shore via a cell signal and provides near real-time information for boaters, scientists, and commercial fishermen.  

coastal observing system:

The Saco River Coastal Observing System (SaRCOS) was developed to examine the interrelationships of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and geology in the local Saco River watershed. Its purpose was to investigate how precipitation drives river discharge, which in turn, affects Western Maine Coastal Current.  

The costal observing system was a suite of instruments, the bulk of which were deployed as part of a buoy telemetry system strategically located along a transect through the Saco River plume, approximately 2km from the point of discharge.  

Offshore buoy sensors measured salinity and temperature at six different depths, vertical and horizontal current profile, chlorophyll, wave parameters, and wind speed and direction.  Data transmitted in near-real time from the buoy was available to the scientific community through the GoMOOS network.

THE SYSTEM'S BUILDING BLOCKS:    (clockwise from top left) Buoy during final stages of construction;  the datalogger enclosure that resides inside the buoy well; railroad car wheels and chain that anchor the system; the cage and doppler payload suspended immediately below the buoy.

THE SYSTEM'S BUILDING BLOCKS:   (clockwise from top left) Buoy during final stages of construction;  the datalogger enclosure that resides inside the buoy well; railroad car wheels and chain that anchor the system; the cage and doppler payload suspended immediately below the buoy.

The buoy system was accompanied by a shore station that measured chlorophyll, nutrient concentrations, salinity, temperature and water depth.  An acoustic Doppler current profiler was also deployed to measure the horizontal current profile across the river.

Results from this study helped identify different plume dynamics as a result of high and low river discharge.  Despite local fishers reporting dead zones, the study did not detect low oxygen levels conducive to those conditions. Data did reveal large mixing events, likely wind driven,  able to suppress salinity at depths of 10-20m at the offshore buoy location. 

Data from SaRCOS played a critical role for UNE’s SPARTACUS Graduate Fellowship Program, an NSF GK12 project forming linkages among university researchers and their graduate students with the K-12 community.