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About the Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory

The Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO) is a fixed, cabled observatory located in Edgartown, Massachusetts and the waters south of Martha’s Vineyard.

Commissioned in 2003, by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the MVCO has operated continuously to provide:

  • Infrastructure to support research on the coastal ocean and atmosphere, coastal ocean ecosystems, the coupled ocean and atmosphere system, and advanced sensor testing and development;
  • A reliable system of core sensors that allow continuous long term observations for climate studies, opportunistic sampling of extreme events, and a local climatology for intensive, short duration field campaigns; and
  • A means for public outreach and educational programs to access the ocean and coastal ocean research.

The MVCO includes:

  • An Air-Sea Interaction Tower (ASIT) located further offshore in 17-m of water equipped with a top-side node for both air-side or underwater instrumentation;
  • A bottom-mounted subsurface node for underwater instruments located in 12 m of water approximately 1.5 km south of Edgartown Great Pond;
  • A 10-m meteorological mast at the South Beach State Park in Edgartown, MA, providing shore-side meteorological and beach observations; and
  • A shore lab located at the Katama Air Park in Edgartown, MA, that provides power and communications links to the rest of the observatory.

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