Deep-sea observatory


  • Randy Showstack


The first deep-sea ocean observatory offshore of the continental United States has begun operating in the waters off central California. The remotely operated Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) will allow scientists to monitor the deep sea continuously. Among the first devices to be hooked up to the observatory are instruments to monitor earthquakes, videotape deep-sea animals, and study the effects of acidification on seafloor animals. “Some day we may look back at the first packets of data streaming in from the MARS observatory as the equivalent of those first words spoken by Alexander Graham Bell: ‘Watson, come here, I need you!’,” commented Marcia McNutt, president and CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, which coordinated construction of the observatory. For more information, see