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Ocean Observation

SINTEF develops new observational methods to identify changes and impacts in the ocean environment caused by natural variations or anthropogenic activities on a global, regional and local scale. This combines different scientific disciplines (ecotoxicology, chemistry, sensor systems, modelling) to enhance the decision support tool and environmental management for key actors and stakeholders in the ocean space.

In-situ sensors are a pre-requisite for obtaining accurate time-space varying ocean data. In-situ sensors are also a requirement for autonomous monitoring systems, which aid in cost reduction, improve sampling efficiency, and increase the speed at which data can be made available. All this provides an excellent foundation for testing multiple techniques and assessing their pros and cons for different applications. After such testing, we can refine our technology and, if necessary, work towards integrating it on autonomous platforms for efficient long-term monitoring applications. This type of research requires resources and equipment that can be provided by the OceanLab infrastructure hosted by SINTEF Ocean. 

Since 2015, we have developed methods that have enabled: 

  • Quantifying the effect of subsea dispersant injection on oil droplet and gas-bubble size distributions. 
  • Quantifying the effect of high pressure on the efficiency of subsea dispersant injection applied to mixed oil and gas releases. 
  • Emergency real-time monitoring technology for subsea blowouts. 
  • Mapping characteristics of particles surrounding a submarine mine-tailings discharge. 
  • Measurements of gas bubble size distributions from subsea gas releases. 
  • Automatic identification of salmon lice. 
  • Particle size, shape and classification onboard autonomous platforms. 
  • Autonomous measurements of meso-zooplankton onboard AUVs. 
  • Enhancing capabilities for subsea blowout monitoring. 
  • In-situ observations to support biogeochemical ocean models. 
  • New technology for real-time monitoring and modelling of drilling discharges. 
  • Automated subsea dispersant injection. 
  • Improving understanding of the nature and movement of marine oil snow. 
  • Measurements of the settling speeds of microplastics in seawater. 

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