Client: Computer Science Corporation
The Great Lakes National Program Office has been conducting regular surveillance monitoring of the offshore waters of the Great Lakes since 1983. This monitoring is intended to fulfill the provisions of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement calling for periodic monitoring of the lakes to: 1) assess compliance with jurisdictional control requirements; 2) provide information on non-achievement of agreed upon water quality objectives; 3) evaluate water quality trends over time; and 4) identify emerging problems in the Great Lakes basin ecosystem.
Assessing the condition of the nearshore presents substantial logistical challenges due to the large spatial extent involved and its characteristically high variability. Comprehensive monitoring of this region requires spatial resolution adequate to capture patterns and detect changes, something which would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming using traditional monitoring approaches. Assessment strategies employing in situ sensor technologies, on the other hand, offer the possibility of generating data at both a spatial scale and a level of resolution appropriate to characterizing highly variable and spatially extensive nearshore areas. This can be accomplished using a number of in situ sensors towed on a Triaxus instrument platform.
The objective of the preliminary analysis of Triaxus data was two-fold: