Orpheus Island

A Wireless Sensor Network was deployed at Orpheus Island in the central Great Barrier Reef in November 2009 following an initial site visit in May 2009. The site was extensively damaged by Tropical Cyclone Yasi in 2011 which saw the infrastructure located in the channel between Orpheus and Pelorus islands totally destroyed. As a result there is a major gap in the data between the loss of the equipment and the re-establishment of the site.

There are two sets of equipment, one set located near the James Cook University research station in Pioneer Bay and another located in the channel between Orpheus and Pelorus islands.

The Sensor Floats in Pioneer and Little Pioneer Bays measure conditions around the Research Station (in Pioneer Bay) and measure on-shore conditions especially the influence of run off (such as low salinity events) from the nearby rivers. As such they are equipment with surface and bottom salinity sensors (as conductivity) to look at the impact of fresh water run-off at this site both on surface and bottom conditions. The buoys were located where corals live and so give an indication of in-situ conditions for these corals.

The poles in the channel between Orpheus and Pelorus islands aim to measure the influx of oceanic water, in particular upwelling water, through the channel. This suite forms the third and most coastal station (with Rib and Myrmidon Reefs) looking at cross shelf oceanic intrusions. The poles have a series of temperature sensors at varying depths to give a profile of the channel; a turbidity sensor was also installed although this was lost in the cyclone and so this data set is incomplete.

The Base Station (star on the map) is located at the Orpheus Island Research Station in Pioneer Bay with a Sensor-Float (circles) located in the bay and the adjacent bay. To the north of Orpheus Island towards Pelorus Island there is a series of poles (diamonds) installed along the reef flat. These act to create the wireless network as well as having sensors attached to them, the sensors are deployed as strings of sensors down the reef crest. A weather station has been installed on RP3.

Sensors Deployed at Orpheus Island

The following sensors have been deployed at Orpheus Island, note that the turbidity sensor is due to be re-installed in mid 2015.

To download a pdf copy of the table below for Orpheus Island click here.

Platform Type Sensor Type Sensor Model Depth (LAT)
SF1 Buoy Temperature MEA Thermistor Surface
    Temperature Seabird SBE39 1.0 + 4.2m
    Depth Seabird SBE39 1.0 + 4.2m
    Salinity Seabird SBE37 1.0 + 4.2m
SF2 Buoy Temperature MEA Thermistor Surface
    Temperature Seabird SBE39 1.0 + 8.7m
    Depth Seabird SBE39 1.0 + 8.7m
RP1 Pole Temperature Seabird SBE39 3.0m + 5.8m +
        10.0m + 14.6m
    Depth Seabird SBE39 3.0m + 5.8m +
        10.0m + 14.6m
    Salinity Seabird SBE37 14.6m
    Turbidity Wetlabs NTU 3.5m
RP2 Pole Temperature MEA Thermistor 1.0m
    Temperature Seabird SBE39 4.3m + 6.1m +
        6.3m + 7.3m +
        7.6m + 12.0m
    Depth Seabird SBE39 4.3m + 6.1m +
        6.3m + 7.3m +
        7.6m + 12.0m
    Salinity Seabird SBE37 7.3m + 12.2m
    Turbidity (2009-2011) Wetlabs NTU 3.5m
    Above water Light (PAR) LiCor LI-192 6m height
RP3 Pole Temperature MEA Thermistor 1.0m
    Temperature Seabird SBE39 2.0m + 5.0m
    Depth Seabird SBE39 2.0m + 5.0m
    Weather station Vaisala WXT520 6m height

Wireless Sensor Networks Facility Leader: Scott Bainbridge

Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)


The Wireless Sensor Networks Facility Publication Report - If you have any questions regarding the data, or corrections, or would like to add a publication or presentation that uses IMOS data please contact the IMOS office via email: publication(at)emii.org.au.

The wireless sensor networks are supported by the Island Research Stations under the Tropical Marine Network (TMN) banner. Partners include the University of Queensland which run the Heron Island Research Station, the University of Sydney which run the One Tree Island Research Station, James Cook University which run the Orpheus Island Research Station and the Australian Museum that run the Lizard Island Research Station.

The Facility had significant initial funding from the Queensland State Government via the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation.

The Facility also was a partner in the ARC Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing (ISSNIP) project.

The Facility is a founding member of the Coral Reef Ecological Observation Network (CREON) and is a participant in the Ocean Data Interoperability Platform project (ODIP).

Your access to IMOS Wireless Sensor Networks data discovery and exploration is through the Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN) Portal.