Revelle: What is a mooring?

The focus of our cruise so far has been on deploying moorings, the backbone of this data-collecting mission. At their simplest, moorings keep boats, ships or buoys anchored to a single spot. The moorings we are using here, called subsurface moorings, are anchoring long, vertical stretches of line, sometimes several miles long, to the ocean floor. The top end of the line contains a buoy, which keeps the mooring upright, and rests anywhere from 40 to 600 meters below the surface of the water. We’re dotting our mooring lines with hundreds of instruments that are collecting data on water speed, temperature and salinity, while strategically dropping fifteen of them—a remarkable number for a single cruise—along deep and shallow points of the Tasman Sea floor. These synchronized measurements will allow us to investigate, in real time, underwater waves that are traveling along the Macquarie Ridge from New Zealand to Tasmania. Watch this video to learn more.

—Julia Calderone, The Revelle