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Chapter 14. Marine Scientific Research Cables

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Chapter Summary

Marine science has a fruitful association with the submarine cable industry that began symbolically with the first trans-oceanic cable between Newfoundland and Ireland. As early as 1948 research was underway to investigate the potential of submarine cables to measure ocean currents. Ocean water is a conductor and resides within Earth's magnetic field. Another scientific use of cables relates to the Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) project. A more recent development has been the use of cables to support sensors for the detection of natural hazards, particularly submarine earthquakes and tsunami. As of 2012, a survey of oceanographic websites revealed at least 190 coastal and deep-ocean observatories world-wide. The use of submarine cables for marine scientific research is subject to two sets of rules within the international law of the sea; those concerning marine scientific research and those concerning submarine cables.

Keywords: ATOC; marine scientific research; natural hazards; ocean currents; submarine cables



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