PIFSC Staff Join International Expedition to Study Indonesian Coral Reefs

An autonomous reef monitoring structure (left side of image) on the seafloor off of Sangihe Island, 
            Indonesia. Photo courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010.
An autonomous reef monitoring structure (left side of image) on the seafloor off of Sangihe Island, Indonesia. Photo courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010.

During late July and early August, PIFSC researchers Molly Timmers and Russell Reardon, both employed by the University of Hawaii Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, participated in a cruise aboard the Indonesian research vessel Baruna Jaya IV. The multi-national crew of scientists placed autonomous reef monitoring structures (ARMS) on the seafloor to collect data for assessment of coral reef biodiversity in the Sangihe-Talaud region of Indonesia, part of an area known as the Coral Triangle.

Deployed on the seafloor, ARMS are devices designed to mimic the structural complexity of coral reef habitats and to attract colonizing invertebrates and algae. Specimens of the biota are collected from the ARMS later when the instruments are retrieved. Six ARMS were installed along the coastline of Sangihe Island.

The research was part of a joint project, "Indonesia-USA Deep-Sea Exploration of the Sangihe Talaud Region -- INDEX 2010". Working alongside the Baruna Jaya IV was the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, which mapped and examining the undersea environment with a focus on the deeper waters of the Sangihe-Talaud region.

Other operations conducted by the Baruna Jaya IV during the INDEX-SATAL 2010 expedition included conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) casts, plankton tows, deepwater and shallow-water trawls, acoustic Doppler current profile (ADCP) measurements, and bathymetric surveys. For more information about the ARMS deployment, go to http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/10index/logs/aug01/aug01.html