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Upper Ocean Mooring Data Repository - Biowatt Experiment: Bioluminescence and Optical Variability of the Sea


Biowatt II, a part of the Biowatt program funded by the Office Of Naval Research, took place in the Sargasso Sea of the North Atlantic, roughly half way between Bermuda and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Working with T. Dickey (University of Southern California) and J. Marra (Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory), the Upper Ocean Processes Group contributed to mooring deployments as a part of Biowatt II.
The objective of the experiment was to improve understanding of the variability of upper-ocean bio-optical properties as affected by physical forcing. The experimental period (February to November 1987) included the development of stratification in the spring and the beginning of stratification breakdown in the fall. The site was occupied by three back-to-back deployments of a single surface mooring. The water depth was about 5370 m.


At about 34° N 70° W, in the Sargasso Sea, at the LOTUS Site
A map is available.


9 months, from late February to 23 November, 1987.

Mooring Specifications:

The site was occupied by three back-to-back deployments of a surface mooring. There were gaps of several days between deployments. Mooring details are presented in a table.


The surface mooring at the central site utilized a 3 m discus buoy which was outfitted with meteorological sensors sufficient for estimating the bulk fluxes of momentum and heat. The variables observed are listed in the table of meteorological instrumentation.
A variety of instruments, including bio-optical sensors, were deployed on the Biowatt mooring (see Dickey et al., 1991; 1993). Only ocean temperature and velocity measured by Multi-Variable Moored Systems (MVMS) at 14, 23, 43, 62, 81, 101, 120 and 160 m depth are reported here. More information is listed in the table of oceanographic instrumentation.


More detailed information and access to data files is organized by data type:
Water Velocity


  • Dickey, T., J. Marra, T. Granata, C. Langdon, M. Hamilton, J. Wiggert, D. Siegel and A. Bratkovich, 1991. Concurrent high resolution bio-optical and physical time series observations in the Sargasso Sea during the spring of 1987, J. Geophys. Res., 96(C5), 8643-8663.
  • Dickey, T., T. Granata, J. Marra, C. Langdon, J. Wiggert, Z. Chai-Jochner, M. Hamilton, J. Vazquez, M. Stramska, R. Bidigare and D. Siegel, 1993. Seasonal variability of bio-optical and physical properties in the Sargasso Sea, J. Geophys. Res., 98(C1), 865-898.
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory BioInfo Biowatt web site

Last updated: May 17, 2008