On-Line Scientific Buoy Network - Summary

The scientific buoys of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) are equipped with instruments that measure a suite of optical, oceanographic, and meteorological properties. Those four oceanographic buoys form a network of moored instruments providing time-series data, similar to those resulting from IML's Thermograph Network (Maurice Lamontagne Institute, Fisheries and Oceans Canada), which included 25 stations in 2014. They transmit data in real time via UHF or satellite telecommunication links, thus permitting immediate diffusion.

The "Marine Conditions" application of SLGO disseminates the data of those four buoys in real time and in archived format since April 2014. Data from the scientific buoys are seasonal; therefore they are only available for the summer period between April and December. The precise effective dates however vary between buoy. Data prior to 2014 are available on the SLGO through the EDMS (DFO) application.

Having real-time data available on wind conditions (speed and direction), wave height, water temperature, and surface currents can greatly aid Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) search and rescue operations. In the case of an environmental emergency, these data could serve to set the initial conditions or to validate the hydrodynamic model that could calculate, for example, the spread of contaminants in the estuary or Gulf of St. Lawrence. In addition to providing day-to-day aid to navigators, the data acquired over the years will also serve as a record of the prevailing environmental conditions in the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The buoy network has been gradually built up, beginning in 2002 with the installation of buoy IML-4 at Rimouski Station. In 2004, buoy IML-6 came online in the Southern Gulf, at Shediac Station. Between 2005 and 2011, IML-2 buoy was moored at the Beaugé Bank station. Also in 2005, buoy IML-7 was moored at the Gaspé Current station, near Saint-Anne-des-Monts. The most recent deployment was buoy IML-10, which was moored at the Old Harry station in the centre of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in spring 2014.

Buoys IML-4 and IML-10 are the new Viking generation of buoy developed and perfected by technicians of IML's DAISS (Scientific Advice, Information, and Support Branch), who are also resposible for the logistics that assure the efficient operation of the Thermograph Network.

Launching the Viking type buoy, IML-4

Characteristics of the On-Line Scientific Buoy Network stations

Station Buoy ID Nominal Position
(lat, long)
Station Depth (m)
Rimouski PMZA-RIKI 48° 40.000' N
68° 35.000' W
Shédiac PMZA-VAS 47° 47.00' N
64° 02.00' W
Gaspé Current IML-7 49° 14.50' N
66° 12.00' W
Old Harry IML-10 48° 00.00' N
60° 30.00' W
Southeast Gulf AZMP-ESG 46° 48.00' N
62° 00.00' W
Station 27 AZMP-ST27 47° 32.18' N
52° 35.17' W
Halifax AZMP-HLX 44° 41.30' N
63° 38.30' W
American Bank IML-BA 48° 35.00' N
63° 53.00' W