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20.11.2014 03:34 Age: 3 yrs

New ocean observing tower erected at Myrmidon Reef on the GBR

Visitors to Myrmidon Reef will notice a new reef addition after AIMS erected a new weather station tower on the reef early last week.

The tower was loaded onto a barge in Townsville for the journey to Myrmidon Reef a journey of 20 hours. Credit: AIMS

The tower has been placed in the exact position as the previous tower that was knocked over during Tropical Cyclone Yasi in 2011. Photo: Steve Portelli, Pacific Marine Group

This is the previous Myrmidon Reef tower, just after category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasi had passed through the area in 2011. Credit: AIMS

The tower replaces the previous tower that was knocked down during Tropical Cyclone Yasi in February 2011. This is the last of several AIMS ocean observation facilities to be replaced in the wake of the Category 5 cyclone.

Construction of the new tower started at AIMS’ Cape Ferguson headquarters in April this year. Made of enduring galvanised steel, the tower is approximately 13m tall and weighs 18T, including 6T of ballast to hold it in place against future cyclones. Ready since September, both tide and weather conditions had to be perfect to safely install the large structure.

Since the destruction of the previous tower, a temporary buoy with weather sensors has continued to report localised data for Myrmidon Reef, minimising data loss. This new permanent tower will replace the buoy as an equipment platform, providing stable space for sensors that contribute to the Wireless Sensor Network facility of the national Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). Sensors will be installed early in the new year.