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Article

Evaluating the Sensor-Equipped Autonomous Surface Vehicle C-Worker 4 as a Tool for Identifying Coastal Ocean Acidification and Changes in Carbonate Chemistry

1
University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, Waterfront Campus, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
2
National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
3
Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Coastal Zone Multi-Complex Building, Princess Margaret Drive P.O. Box 1884, Belize City, Belize
4
NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Jahnebakken 5, 5007 Bergen, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(11), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8110939
Received: 5 October 2020 / Revised: 31 October 2020 / Accepted: 16 November 2020 / Published: 19 November 2020
The interface between land and sea is a key environment for biogeochemical carbon cycling, yet these dynamic environments are traditionally under sampled. Logistical limitations have historically precluded a comprehensive understanding of coastal zone processes, including ocean acidification. Using sensors on autonomous platforms is a promising approach to enhance data collection in these environments. Here, we evaluate the use of an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV), the C-Worker 4 (CW4), equipped with pH and pCO2 sensors and with the capacity to mount additional sensors for up to 10 other parameters, for the collection of high-resolution data in shallow coastal environments. We deployed the CW4 on two occasions in Belizean coastal waters for 2.5 and 4 days, demonstrating its capability for high-resolution spatial mapping of surface coastal biogeochemistry. This enabled the characterisation of small-scale variability and the identification of sources of low pH/high pCO2 waters as well as identifying potential controls on coastal pH. We demonstrated the capabilities of the CW4 in both pre-planned “autonomous” mission mode and remote “manually” operated mode. After documenting platform behaviour, we provide recommendations for further usage, such as the ideal mode of operation for better quality pH data, e.g., using constant speed. The CW4 has a high power supply capacity, which permits the deployment of multiple sensors sampling concurrently, a shallow draught, and is highly controllable and manoeuvrable. This makes it a highly suitable tool for observing and characterising the carbonate system alongside identifying potential drivers and controls in shallow coastal regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: ocean acidification; coastal; autonomous; ASV; biogeochemistry; sensors; pCO2; pH; monitoring ocean acidification; coastal; autonomous; ASV; biogeochemistry; sensors; pCO2; pH; monitoring
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cryer, S.; Carvalho, F.; Wood, T.; Strong, J.A.; Brown, P.; Loucaides, S.; Young, A.; Sanders, R.; Evans, C. Evaluating the Sensor-Equipped Autonomous Surface Vehicle C-Worker 4 as a Tool for Identifying Coastal Ocean Acidification and Changes in Carbonate Chemistry. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 939. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8110939

AMA Style

Cryer S, Carvalho F, Wood T, Strong JA, Brown P, Loucaides S, Young A, Sanders R, Evans C. Evaluating the Sensor-Equipped Autonomous Surface Vehicle C-Worker 4 as a Tool for Identifying Coastal Ocean Acidification and Changes in Carbonate Chemistry. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2020; 8(11):939. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8110939

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cryer, Sarah, Filipa Carvalho, Terry Wood, James A. Strong, Peter Brown, Socratis Loucaides, Arlene Young, Richard Sanders, and Claire Evans. 2020. "Evaluating the Sensor-Equipped Autonomous Surface Vehicle C-Worker 4 as a Tool for Identifying Coastal Ocean Acidification and Changes in Carbonate Chemistry" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 8, no. 11: 939. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8110939

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