Shelf Awareness

Oceanographer Jack Barth sits among buoys on the R/V Wecoma for the Coastal Ocean Dynamics Experiment (CODE) in 1982.

Despite the closeness to our shores, there is still quite a bit we don’t know about the coastal ocean. Oceanographers have spent decades increasing their global reach: they have multiple satellites circling our world’s oceans measuring surface temperature and ocean color. They have submersibles mapping underwater mountains. There are even thousands of free-drifting sensors roaming the ocean gyres. Given their worldwide reach, you’d think scientists would have uncovered the mysteries of the coastal ocean long ago.

But in reality, scientists are still trying to understand what makes the coastal ocean tick, from the flow of its waters on- and off-shore to its intricate layering of temperature and salinity. In some cases, scientists know more about far-flung regions of the ocean, such as the equatorial Pacific, than areas in our backyard…

Keep reading on Oregon State University’s website at this link: http://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/features/shelf/