MUSCAT: As part of its initiative to monitor algal blooms in Omani coastal water, a team from Sultan Qaboos University has come up with the concept of sea gliders. The team had launched two gliders in March.

According to a press release, these gliders, equipped with sensors, allow recording of physical, chemical and biological parameters of the water column up to a depth of 1,000m.

On reaching the water’s surface, the glider transmits the recorded data on vertical distribution of temperature, salinity, water density, current speed, dissolved oxygen concentration, phytoplankton biomass, and sound scattering layers (mainly formed by fish schools) via satellites.

Dr Sergei Pinocytosis, associate professor, department of marine sciences and fisheries at SQU, is the principal investigator of the project and is collaborating with scientists from the University of East Anglia, and Washington University. Algal blooms hitting Oman’s coasts are a serious ecological issue and can cause fish kill and stalling of desalination plant among other problems, the release added.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily