An OOI Cabled Array Medium-power junction box is installed in the ASHES hydrothermal field of Axial Seamount’s caldera during the Visions ’13 cruise. (Credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF.)

An OOI Cabled Array Medium-power junction box is installed in the ASHES hydrothermal field of Axial Seamount’s caldera during the Visions ’13 cruise. (Credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF.)

Excellent article in the New York Times covering the Ocean Observatory Initiative opening their “Data Portal” this month to the scientific community-at-large, conceived by University of Washington oceanographer and eScience Affiliate John Delaney.

“Off the West Coast, [scientists] have wired up a highly active ridge with hundreds of sensors and cameras, as well as cables that flash the readings to shore. […] Hundreds of scientists around the globe will now be able to monitor one of Earth’s most restless and enigmatic features as effortlessly as reading their email.”

Commenting how it the Data Portal would help scientists understand the complexities of volcanic ridges and surrounding waters, Delaney told the Times, “Suddenly, a technological door has opened on studying the ocean from within. [This] is the only way we’re ever going to understand its true complexity — the hundreds of processes.”

UW scientist Deborah Kelley is also quoted in the piece, saying, “We have the most advanced cabled observatory on any volcano in the world’s oceans. There’ll be lots of discoveries.”

Delaney has previously spoken about the need to find “new ways of studying this captivating, mysterious, dangerous, and life-giving system of systems,” and the OOI Data Portal is just that. Congrats to Delaney, Kelley, and everyone involved in making this years-long effort a reality.

You can read the full article here.