In August ONC hosted an international gathering of scientists to look at the oceanographic applications of high frequency radar. Participants travelled to Race Rocks, a Marine Protected Area at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to visit one of ONC’s recently installed oceanographic radar. Watch the video above.
Oceanographic radars have been installed in high traffic locations near busy ports along the coast of British Columbia. Different from marine radars, these sophisticated, high frequency, land-based oceanographic radars measure and map surface ocean currents in coastal waters, making it possible to measure waves heights and provide indirect estimates of local wind direction.
These radars systems play 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. A major benefit of oceanographic radars is their ability to operate under any weather conditions, day or night.
ONC’s Oceans 2.0 portal now provides data from ten CODAR including two Fisheries and Oceans Canada CODAR on Haida Gwaii at Bonilla Island and Sandspit. In addition, one WERA high frequency radar system, a state-of-the-art technology, is located in Tofino on Vancouver Island which uses 12 land-based antennas with a range up to 80 kilometres. The WERA radar specializes in over-the-horizon radar technology to monitor ocean surface currents, waves and wind direction and can scan and detect large events such as tsunamis and storm surges.
Check out our real-time ocean data for yourself on our data management system Oceans 2.0.