SCUBA divers as oceanographic samplers: The potential of dive computers to augment aquatic temperature monitoring

Serena Wright (Lead Author), Tom Hull, David B. Sivyer, David Pearce, John K. Pinnegar, Martin D. J. Sayer, Andrew O. M. Mogg, Elaine Azzopardi, Steve Gontarek, Kieran Hyder

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Monitoring temperature of aquatic waters is of great importance, with modelled, satellite and in-situ data providing invaluable insights into long-term environmental change. However, there is often a lack of depth-resolved temperature measurements. Recreational dive computers routinely record temperature and depth, so could provide an alternate and highly novel source of oceanographic information to fill this data gap. In this study, a citizen science approach was used to obtain over 7,000 scuba diver temperature profiles. The accuracy, offset and lag of temperature records was assessed by comparing dive computers with scientific conductivity-temperature-depth instruments and existing surface temperature data. Our results show that, with processing, dive computers can provide a useful and novel tool with which to augment existing monitoring systems all over the globe, but especially in under-sampled or highly changeable coastal environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number30164
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2016

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