No.12 2006

Better tools mean improved knowledge and services

Smart buoy for coastal monitoring

A flexible way to model sediment dispersal

Getting intimate with aquatic sediments

GeoEel sees beneath the seafloor

Getting intimate with aquatic sediments

Getting intimate with aquatic sediments

The Unisense profiler’s microsensors can measure a range of variables. (Photo: Lee Bryant, Virginia Polytechnic Institute)

NIWA’s new micro-profiler enables us to study biogeochemical processes in aquatic sediments at a remarkably fine scale.
The profiler can take measurements on the seabed (or lake floor) in up to 100 m water depth. Several microsensors automatically probe into the sediment at increments of as little as 50 micrometres (about the width of a human hair).

Better tools mean improved knowledge and services

Better tools mean improved knowledge and services
Environmental research and consultancy is increasingly moving from an era of ‘occasional observation’ to ‘realtime monitoring’, allowing better understanding and decision-making about environmental management.
For the marine environment, where data-gathering is inherently more difficult and expensive, continued investment in new instruments with capability for in situ and real-time monitoring is crucial.
We can also now access better and more sophisticated computer models to predict the causes and consequences of envi

GeoEel sees beneath the seafloor

GeoEel sees beneath the seafloor

Profile of sedimentary basins in the Gulf of California. Scripps Institute of Technology

Ever wished you had Superman’s X-ray vision? Our new digital seismic streamer is the next best thing.
The ‘GeoEel’ streamer is an array of 768 hydrophones towed behind a ship. The hydrophones pick up sound signals reflected off sedimentary layers and geological structures up to 3 km beneath the seabed.

A flexible way to model sediment dispersal

A flexible way to model sediment dispersal

Water depth in the Middle Waitemata Harbour, represented on a flexible grid.

NIWA has recently upgraded its modelling software for simulating the dispersal of sediments and contaminants in coastal waters.
The new software represents water depth on a ‘flexible grid’. This allows the user to zoom in on water flow and sediment transport in areas that are complicated or of particular interest, such as valuable habitats or near stormwater discharges.

Smart buoy for coastal monitoring

Smart buoy for coastal monitoring

Solar-powered C-SMART buoy.

NIWA Instrument Systems is developing a surface buoy to collect real-time coastal data on such things as weather, currents, waves, and water conditions.
Dubbed ‘C–SMART’ (Coastal Scientific Monitoring And Real-time Telemetry), the buoy will gather, process, and transmit data from sensors both above and below water.
Smart buoys are not new, but most are large, cumbersome, and expensive to develop and support.

Research subject: Coasts