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SAEON’s on-line real-time sea temperature recorder safely deployed


SAEON’s real-time sea temperature recorder is deployed at Gordon’s Bay. (Photo courtesy Rick Harding)


The UTR is attached to a secure pier in a well-protected area.

By Dr Wayne Goschen, Marine Data Manager and Physical Oceanographer, SAEON Egagasini Node

In a previous issue of SAEON eNews, it was mentioned that SAEON’s Egagasini Node had purchased a live underwater temperature recorder (UTR) to monitor ocean change in real-time.

The real-time UTR was acquired to form part of the emerging South African Operational Oceanography network that intends to monitor the ocean in real-time. The UTR was to be the first prototype of its kind to be deployed in this innovative ocean observation and monitoring system.

The original plan was to deploy the UTR off Cape Point. However, after many attempts to get the instrument in the water by staff of the Oceans and Coast Branch of the Department of Environmental Affairs, this idea was abandoned. It was found that the sea at the chosen site at Cape Point was too rough and dangerous for divers to securely moor the instrument. It would have been even more difficult to wait for a weather window and calm seas to service the UTR.

Calmer waters

It was then decided to change sites, and we are happy to report that on 2 July 2013 the first real-time UTR was deployed off Gordon’s Bay east pier. The UTR is already transmitting data to the website hosted by the Centre for Observational Oceanography (CFOO). A plot of the live sea temperatures (Figure 1) may be found at, with acknowledgement to SAEON.

The UTR is attached to a secure pier in a well-protected area and we are expecting it to return good data for many years to come. Data will be archived at SAEON and made available through the SAEON Data Portal.


                           Figure 1: A plot of sea temperatures from SAEON’s real-time UTR in Gordon’s Bay.


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