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Infographic: Ocean sampling technologies

Release date: March 2021
Infographic: Ocean sampling technologies
Description: Ocean sampling technologies

An illustrated diagram shows a simplified side view of the ocean and coastline with multiple types of sampling technologies used to collect data about ocean science. Each illustration is linked to a number describing the technology.


Ocean Sampling Technologies

Technologies—old and new—help to fill gaps in knowledge of Canada’s vast and complex oceans.

  1. Oceanographic missions support multiple technologies and ocean monitoring.
  2. Small drones with cameras are used to take aerial photos of habitats and species.
  3. Buoys and other moorings use sensors to take frequent measurements of ocean conditions at a single location for up to a year.
  4. Aerial surveys are used to monitor marine mammals, seabirds, and habitats.
  5. LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is a remote sensing technology used to monitor habitats from the air.
  6. Research vessels are used to conduct multispecies and acoustic surveys.
  7. Satellites gather data and images year-round  about temperature, sea ice, and phytoplankton.
  8. Observers document occurrences of seabirds and marine mammals.
  9. Rosettes collect water samples and carry sensors to measure environmental conditions throughout the water column.
  10. ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) explore habitats far below the surface.
  11. Plankton nets collect phytoplankton and zooplankton samples.
  12. Satellite tagging tracks migratory species such as turtles, fish, sharks, mammals, and seabirds.
  13. Gliders and Argo floats travel long distances on very little power to gather ocean climate data.
  14. Collector plates are used to sample invasive tunicate species that attach to them.
  15. Trawl nets collect samples of invertebrates and fishes.
  16. Sonar is used to collect data on fishes and zooplankton in the water column and to conduct hydrographic surveys and classify seafloor habitat.
  17. SCUBA divers collect samples and data in coastal areas.
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