Ocean surface currents now being measured in near real-time off Hilo

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Fiona Langenberger, (808) 956-8784
Communications and Program Coordinator, PacIOOS
Posted: Jun 19, 2015

PacIOOS now provides ocean surface currents off Hilo in near real-time.
PacIOOS now provides ocean surface currents off Hilo in near real-time.

A new data set of the direction and speed of ocean surface currents in Hilo Bay is now available online. The hourly data updates are accessible to the public and free of charge on "Voyager," the interactive mapping platform of the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System or PacIOOS.

Mapping ocean surface currents in near real-time provides valuable data for search and rescue operations by narrowing down the possible location of a missing person or vessel. The new data set also helps to forecast the distribution of oil or hazardous material spills and is therefore crucial to plan an adequate response. Marine navigation can benefit from near real-time surface currents for safe navigation. Other examples of surface currents data usage include water quality monitoring and forecast modeling.

Said Jason Adolf, Associate Professor and Chair of the Marine Science Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, “We are excited about the new ocean surface current data for Hilo. It complements the PacIOOS wave buoy and water quality buoy off Hilo Harbor. Providing data on ocean and water conditions, including waves and surface currents, in near real-time improves decision-making for ocean users, managers and responders.  With the new data set we can also develop educational activities for the marine science curriculum at UH Hilo and raise public awareness in partnership with Mokupāpapa Discovery Center.”

Maps of surface currents, generated by remote sensors on land, are available across the United States as part of a larger network supported by the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). 

On the Web

Direct Link to Surface Currents on PacIOOS Voyager: http://goo.gl/jc04t7

Hilo Wave Buoy: http://pacioos.org/wavebuoy/hilobuoy.php

Hilo Water Quality Buoy: http://pacioos.org/focus/waterquality/wq_hawaii.php  

PacIOOS Voyager: http://pacioos.org/voyager

PacIOOS Website: http://pacioos.org

About PacIOOS

The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) believes that ocean data and information can help save lives and resources. In collaboration with its partners, PacIOOS aims to provide sustained ocean observations in order to support decision-making and science for stakeholders who call the Pacific Islands home. Based within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, PacIOOS is part of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®).