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Deepwater Echo Integrating Marine Observatory System

John Horne, David Barbee, and Dick Kreisberg

DEIMOS samples from the seafloor to the surface of Monterey Bay once every five seconds. These data are stored at MBARI and later distributed to the FAR Lab in Seattle for analysis. Live monitoring of the data is possible to ensure that the system is functioning properly and to view episodic events, such as vessels passing, storms, or changes in animal distributions.

Recently, the FAR Lab developed a new tool for visualizing echosounder data on the web. Echogram Online (EO) is a Flash-based tool for displaying and analyzing backscatter data. EO is written in Flash in order to provide a platform-agnostic tool capable of being accessed and updated from anywhere in the world. Click on the image below to try a demo of Echogram Online!

EO Demo
A screenshot of Echogram Online, version 0.1. EO can be used to display collected echosounder data using any web browser installed with Adobe Flash Player.
Demo Echogram Online here. Information on the application is available here.
EO will only work if you have installed Adobe Flash Player.


Over long time scales, the acoustic record contains distribution patterns and behavioral cycles of aquatic organisms. The image below contains 42 hours of the DEIMOS acoustic record from the sea floor to the surface of Monterey Bay. The image has been flipped so that the seafloor is at the bottom and the surface is at the top.

Acoustic data collected over a 42 hour period. Vertically migrating zooplankton and small fish over short periods at dusk and dawn change the backscatter lavers seen in the echogram.

This echogram illustrates the diel vertical migration zooplankton and small fish at dusk and dawn. During night, at the left side of the figure, zooplankton remain in surface waters to avoid predators and feed. Approximately a half hour before dawn they descend to form three layers, centered at 90, 200, and 350 m depth. Two full cycles are shown in the figure.

Previous: DEIMOS Deployment                                        

This research was made possible by the University of Washington's School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Kongsberg Simrad, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

©2010 Fisheries Acoustics Research