Research NewsEarth Science

‘Real-Time’ Oceanography Adapts to Sea Changes

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Science  28 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5308, pp. 1881-1882
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5308.1881a

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Oceanographic experiments have traditionally been vast data-collecting expeditions with limited flexibility, but last summer, a project in the Haro Strait near Vancouver Island proved out an approach to oceanography that allows researchers to change their plans in midstream—or midocean. Called adaptive sampling, it is based on feedback between instruments positioned in the water and computer modeling onshore. Primed with new data each day, the computer suggested where the next day's efforts should be focused.