Deployment of PacIOOS wave buoy off Aunuʻu, American Sāmoa

Deployment of PacIOOS wave buoy off Aunuʻu, American Sāmoa

The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) deployed a new wave buoy in the waters off Aunuʻu, American Sāmoa, on October 23, 2014. The bright yellow buoy is located more than three miles offshore and streams data on ocean and wave conditions.

The buoy joins the existing PacIOOS network of 13 real-time wave buoys across the Pacific, providing data on wave height, direction, period and sea surface temperature. PacIOOS also redeployed wave buoys in Hilo Bay, Hawaiʻi and Kaumalapau Harbor, Lānaʻi, after they cut loose a few months ago.

Ocean users—including fishermen, commercial operators, surfers, paddlers and swimmers—can access ocean data online to make well-informed and safe decisions. Real-time wave data are also vital to prepare the community, emergency responders and county officials for big wave events that could potentially impact shorelines.

PacIOOS serves real-time wave data from Hawaiʻi, the Mariana and Marshall Islands, as well as American Sāmoa,” says Melissa Iwamoto, deputy director of PacIOOS. “The new wave buoy in American Sāmoa will compliment our network in the Pacific and will greatly support the decision-making of various agencies across the Pacific, including the National Weather Service and the National Oceanographic Data Center.”

The locations of the buoys are included on navigational charts. To keep the buoys and their sensors operational, ocean users are asked not to tie to the buoys and stay clear to avoid entanglement in the mooring lines.

Data streaming for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology PacIOOS wave buoys is made possible through long-term partnerships between PacIOOS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Coastal Data Information Program.

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