The goal of this solicitation is to advance interactive observing technologies and understanding of the coastal benthic boundary layer (BBL - defined here as the portion of the water column and surface sediments impacted by the presence of the sediment-water interface). The coastal BBL is a defining characteristic of coastal ecosystems and yet is among the most understudied components of the coastal environment. In part, a more detailed understanding of the BBL has been hindered by the inability to directly observe BBL processes that occur at a wide range of temporal scales and may have characteristic controlling thresholds. Furthermore, the BBL is not observable via most remote sensing technologies, such as satellite- and aircraft-mounted sensor systems and shore-based HF radar arrays, which focus on the sea surface. The strategy adopted here is that
intellectual and applied technological advances proceed most effectively when they occur in concert. This solicitation therefore requires a particular focus on both the development of technologies and the conduct of research that will improve understanding of BBL processes. To accomplish this goal, one or more pilot/testbed study sites will be established. Successful proposals will demonstrate a plan that leads to advances in understanding of BBL processes through advances in sensors, instruments, platforms and power and/or communications technologies for use in coastal observing research. The development and enhancement of new and existing technologies are needed to investigate coastal processes at appropriate temporal and spatial scales. The scientific rationale for the focus on coastal benthic exchange dynamics has been outlined at a community workshop and in a subsequent report
(Reimers et al. 2004) on benthic boundary layer processes organized by the NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences Coastal Ocean Processes (CoOP) Program.
Who can apply:
Eligible functional categories:
NSF Publication 05-556
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National Science Foundation