The deep-sea environment into which oil company operations are gradually extending is generally poorly understood with surveys regularly discovering new habitats and communities of animals previously unknown to science. By establishing long-term monitoring of the deep-sea physical environment and biological activity in that environment it should be possible to compensate to a large degree for the previous lack of knowledge. Here we describe the DELOS system for monitoring the deep ocean at 1400m depth in Block 18 off Angola in the Atlantic Ocean. DELOS comprises two platforms, one in the near field within 50m of a sea floor well, and another in the far field 5 miles from any sea floor infrastructure. Both platforms comprise a suite of instrumentation for characterizing the deep-ocean environment. The DELOS platforms are autonomous from sea floor hydrocarbon infrastructure and require Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) intervention every 6 months to recover instrumentation for service. The DELOS platforms are due for installation early in 2008.
- long term underwater observatory stations
- environmental monitoring
- subsea instrumentation
- low power data logging