Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network
Monitoring Project

Santa Cruz Ocean Observing Platform (SCOOP)

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Raphael Kudela
    University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Kendra Hayashi
    University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Mike Jacox
    University of California, Santa Cruz


Start Date: October 01, 2010

The primary goals of the Santa Cruz Ocean Observing Platform (SCOOP) are to establish and maintain a long-term dataset of weather and oceanographic measurements at the Santa Cruz Wharf that is accessible to both researchers and the public. The weather station is a single instrument that measures atmospheric pressure and humidity, air temperature, wind speed and direction, and rainfall. The core oceanographic instruments measure conductivity (salinity), temperature, turbidity, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, and pH.

Data collected from the SCOOP are displayed in near-real time on the SCOOP website, along with information about nutrients, phytoplankton species and bacteria collected during weekly sampling. The pier-based SCOOP station also provides researchers with a platform from which emerging technologies and instrumentation can be tested. New tools are routinely developed that allow for enhanced ecosystem research and resource management.

Recently, a pCO2 sensor built by Atmospheric Observing Systems was deployed at the SCOOP station. The pCO2 instrument has been used extensively from ships and will be deployed at the Santa Cruz Wharf indefinitely. At the air-sea interface, sea surface pCO2 should be in equilibrium with the atmosphere. The occurrence of a dense phytoplankton bloom can cause a large decrease in sea-surface pCO2, and upwelling conditions can bring water with very high pCO2 to the surface. Continual monitoring of pCO2 levels is one additional tool researchers have to aid in understanding the occurrence of red tides and harmful algal blooms.

Summary to Date

The station aids researchers in monitoring the presence, distribution, abundance and population dynamics of HABs and red tide-forming species. Monitoring such features of bloom-forming phytoplankton species as well as the oceanographic conditions related to bloom formation is an essential step towards prediction of HABs and red tides, which ultimately impact human health, wildlife, and fisheries.

Monitoring Trends

  • To view recently collected data, go to the web site link under the 'Links' tab.


SCOOP is a charter member of the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System, or CeNCOOS, and is a member of the Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Alert Program (HABMAP). SCOOP is hosted and operated by the University of California at Santa Cruz with support from the City of Santa Cruz.

Study Parameters

  • Temperature
  • Salinity
  • Turbidity
  • Conductivity
  • Chl A
  • pH
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • pCO2
  • Fv/Fm (Yield)

Study Methods

Instruments at the Santa Cruz Wharf include:

WeatherHawk: Model 511
Measures - wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation, and rainfall

YSI: Sonde 6600v2
Measures - water temperature, conductivity, pH, turbidity, chlorophyll a, and dissolved oxygen

Turner: Phytoflash
Measures - Fv/Fm (yield)

AOS: Modular Analyzer System
Measures - pCO2

Figures and Images

Figure 1. Measurements of a YSI sonde (Yellow Springs Instrument Co.) at the Santa Cruz Wharf. The sonde records water temperature, salinity, pH, turbidity, chlorophyll a, and dissolved oxygen. These data represent a subset spanning June-July 2011.

Figure 2. Measurements of the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) in sea water at the Santa Cruz Wharf for 2 weeks in April 2011. Dissolved oxygen (2a) and pH (2b) show inverse relationships with pCO2. The SCOOP station served as a test bed for a second pCO2 sensor and measurements from both instruments showed good agreement (2c).

Figure 3. Display monitor for weather station data at Santa Cruz Wharf.