yellow buoy

Wave buoy in Hawaiʻi waters

On December 3, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System deployed a new Datawell Mark II Waverider Buoy in 700 feet of Maui’s coastal waters just north of Kahului.

This buoy will help to inform safe transit entering and exiting Kahului Harbor, provide real-time data to recreational ocean users and provide critical information for coastal hazard and low-lying inundation forecasts for north facing shores.

Mark Merrifield, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa professor of oceanography and PacIOOS lead for wave and water level measurements, and his team organized the buoy deployment.

According to PacIOOS Director Chris Ostrander, this location was chosen in response to multiple stakeholder requests and aims “primarily to provide information to recreational and commercial mariners who use Kahului harbor and transit the waters north of Maui. Also, it is so close to the well-known Peahi surf break that the information will be helpful in refining forecasts of wave height for big wave surf events.”

The buoy joins PacIOOS’ existing network of six real-time wave buoys in Hawaiʻi, Guam and the Marshall Islands to provide streaming data on wave height, direction, period and water temperature to the PacIOOS website.

Update: On March 4, 2012, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System deployed another buoy about 6.5 nautical miles northeast of Hilo Harbor. Read the news release for more.