Oceanographic radar plays a key role in making Canada’s west coast safer for shipping navigation, incident response (such as search and rescue and hazard spill), and tsunami detection. Land-based oceanographic radar measures and maps surface ocean currents, and, for some systems, measures wave heights. A major benefit of oceanographic radar is their ability to operate under any weather conditions, day or night.
CODAR (Coastal ocean dynamics applications radar) or coastal radar is a technology that permits the remote measurement of surface currents in the ocean. ONC currently operates a total of eleven CODAR stations: four in the Strait of Georgia, two in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, four in the Prince Rupert/Hecate Strait region, and one in Nova Scotia. These stations generate sea surface current maps once per hour, available via Oceans 3.0.
Map showing locations of oceanographic radar along Canada's east and west coasts.
WERA radar is a high-frequency, long distance (more than 200 km) oceanographic radar. These systems are capable of detecting large events like storm surges and tsunamis up to 80 kilometres from shore. They can provide a complete data set within less than 10 minutes, providing critical warning time in the event of a storm or natural disaster.
WERA radar system installed in Tofino, BC.