Lesson Plans
At-Sea Video
Cruise Diary
Radio Interviews
HF Radar
Past Projects
  Home About Research Education Links  

: Research
: : HF Radar
: : : PWS
: : : Beaufort Sea
: : : : Data Archives
: : : : West Dock
: : : : Endicott Island
: : : Cook Inlet

Beaufort Sea

This project was completed in 2009. The final report can be viewed from the BOEMRE web site:

Click Here to send your questions and comments. All feedback is appreciated.

Beginning in October 2004, the University of Alaska Fairbanks SALMON Project and CODAR Ocean Sensors began a study to understand patterns of surface currents in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea and Cook Inlet. This program is examining the spatial and temporal variability of the ocean currents using high frequency Doppler radar and is sponsored by the Minerals Management Service, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Oceanographic Partnership Program in cooperation with the Alaska Ocean Observing System.

The Beaufort Sea region surrounding Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Shown are our two field sites at STP and Endicott. The background is an August 8, 2006, RADARSAT ScanSAR image with HF radar surface current vectors plotted on top.

In June 2005, the team installed two Doppler radar stations on the Beaufort Sea, at West Dock and Endicott Island, to record surface currents during open water and mixed ice periods. These sites were in operation through October 2006, when they were moved to Cook Inlet to record surface currents until November 2007. This project is known as CIBS-MAP, Cook Inlet and Beaufort Sea Surface Current Mapping.

Dr. David Musgrave, associate professor of Marine Science at UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, is the chief investigator on the study. His research team has previously mapped surface currents using Doppler radar in Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound. In addition to examining the spatial and temporal variability of the surface currents, we also seek to understand how the HF radar performs and records currents with the presence of varying sea ice conditions, including during break-up and freeze-up.

These units have the capability to map the surface currents every hour on a two-dimensional grid of points separated by one mile in each direction. The data collected through this study will contribute to the baseline oceanography of these two locations. Additionally, the data will be used by MMS for comparing hydrodynamic and circulation models used to develop oil spill risk analyses for offshore oil and gas operations.

"MMS is a unique participant in our nation's development of IOOS [Integrated Ocean Observing System]; we are a developer, a user, and a contributor," says James Kendall, MMS Studies Chief. "This project is an example of our effort to ensure that state-of-the-art technology is thoroughly explored as we strive for safe and environmentally sound operations on the OCS; a perfect match with IOOS societal goals."


Click above for a larger sample surface current map.

CIBS-MAP is a collaborative project between the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea-Air-Land-Modeling and Observing Network (SALMON) Project and CODAR Ocean Sensors. It is sponsored by the Minerals Management Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. Boat support was provided by Alaska Clean Seas.


View Data

Data Archives