Determining the distributions and variations of chemical elements in oceans has significant meanings for understanding the biogeochemical cycles, evaluating seawater pollution, and forecasting the occurrence of marine disasters. The primary chemical parameters of ocean monitoring include nutrients, pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), and heavy metals. At present, ocean monitoring mainly relies on laboratory analysis, which is hindered in applications due to its large size, high power consumption, and low representative and time-sensitive detection results. By integrating photonics and microfluidics into one chip, optofluidics brings new opportunities to develop portable microsystems for ocean monitoring. Optofluidic platforms have advantages in respect of size, cost, timeliness, and parallel processing of samples compared with traditional instruments. This review describes the applications of optofluidic platforms on autonomous and in situ ocean environmental monitoring, with an emphasis on their principles, sensing properties, advantages, and disadvantages. Predictably, autonomous and in situ systems based on optofluidic platforms will have important applications in ocean environmental monitoring.
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