Sat, Jul 15, 2006 - Page 2 News List

CWB deploys new deep-water buoy for observation


The Central Weather Bureau and National Cheng Kung University have successfully deployed a deep-water meteorological observation buoy 200km off the east coat, anchored a record-breaking 4,880m beneath the surface, a bureau spokesman said yesterday.

The bureau -- in a joint venture with several academic institutes -- has already constructed an offshore marine observation network around Taiwan, with data buoys positioned roughly between 1km and 10km off the coast at depths of up to 100m.

However, this was the first time that the bureau has placed a buoy so far from the coast and anchored it so deep in the Pacific Ocean, which officials described as a "great leap forward."

According to the bureau, 67 percent of tropical storms in the region form east of the Philippines and move northward to Taiwan, so that the buoy's position at 22 degrees north latitude and 122.8 degrees east longitude is perfect for collecting marine weather data for typhoon forecasts.

A staff member of the bureau's Marine Forecast Center said that the meteorological buoy -- which weighs 1,300kg and measures 2.5m in diameter -- is capable of gathering data such as wind direction, wind speed, temperature and wave height, adding that it will transmit data every two hours under normal conditions and every hour during the onset of tropical storms.

She also noted that the buoy was already fully operational before Tropical Storm Bilis moved toward Taiwan and had provided vital information for forecasters.

According to a senior research fellow at the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, all components of the data buoy are made locally at the university's Coastal Ocean Monitoring Center.

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