Antarctic Cam- McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory
View Into The Blue designed and built the world’s first live-streaming, underwater observatory in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean. The McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory (MOO) offers a candid glimpse into the frigid and remote environment below the Antarctic sea ice in the farthest southern accessible marine environment in the world. The system was deployed on November 11th, 2017. The University of Oregon’s Dr. Paul Cziko, lead researcher for the project and onsite technician, collaborated with VITB in the design and build of the MOO system that was installed in McMurdo Sound.
In addition to a VITB’s camera system, other sensors will record essential data. A research-quality OceanSonics icListen hydrophone is included that will record the first, year-round hydro acoustic record for McMurdo Sound. A SeaBird-37 CTD will provide valuable salinity, pressure, and temperature data, which has never been recorded on a yearly basis. VITB also supplied on-demand LED lighting that will improve imaging capabilities of the system. This will enhance the likelihood of viewing weddell seals, orca and minke whales, and various species of penguin.
The MOO serves to characterize the benthic habitat and the underside of sea ice, to provide real-time surveillance of oceanographic conditions, and to observe underwater ice growth dynamics as they relate to freezing risk in Antarctic fishes. The site will also allow for the year-round observation of fish and invertebrate behaviors. Finally, this project will form a baseline dataset of temperature, which may be important to understand the effects of climate change.