A validation and comparison study of new, compact, versatile optodes for oxygen, pH and carbon dioxide in marine environments


• New optical sensors for oxygen, pH and carbon dioxide are deployed in various marine environments
• The data collected by the optical sensors are in very good agreement with the values obtained with commercially available reference systems
• Anti-biofouling strategy with copper guard is shown to be efficient for long term monitoring in highly active environments
• Compact and low cost device with autonomous logging and interchangeable sensing caps is proved to be promising for oceanographic applications


Continuous monitoring of dissolved oxygen, pH and carbon dioxide are of great importance in oceanography. Sensors are the optimal tools for in situ measurements from mobile platforms, like Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) or Argo profiling floats, and for shipboard deployments. A validation study of small, versatile, easy-to-use, stand-alone optodes is presented. Each analyte can be read out with the identical optoelectronics which greatly minimizes the costs of the hardware needed. Several deployments were performed to evaluate the applicability of the sensors. The deployments varied in terms of duration (profiling, long-term monitoring 5 days to 8 weeks) and environmental conditions (salinity: 6–33 PSS; temperature: 9–25 °C). A set of sensors was successfully deployed at a mooring buoy, in an aquaculture facility and in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Open Sea Exhibition. They were also integrated in an AUV and a profiling float. The performance of the optodes was evaluated in comparison with commercially available sensors for dissolved oxygen (Aanderaa Data Instruments AS, Sea-Bird Scientific, OxyGuard®), pH (Hach, Satlantic) and carbon dioxide (Turner design). The data collected by our optodes and the commercially available sensors is generally in good agreement showing that the new, compact sensor device in combination with sensor foils (pO2, pH, pCO2) can be a valuable tool for many applications in oceanography. The data also revealed the importance of the calibration strategy since inappropriate calibration resulted in an offset in the measured parameter. The efficiency of simple biofouling protection strategy (copper guard) for prolong measurements in highly dynamic environments was also demonstrated.

Fritzsche E., Staudinger C., Fischer J. P., Thar R., Jannasch H. W., Plant J. N., Blum M., Massion G., Thomas H., Hoech J., Johnson K. S., Borisov S. M. & Klimant I., in press. A validation and comparison study of new, compact, versatile optodes for oxygen, pH and carbon dioxide in marine environments. Marine Chemistry. Article (subscription required).

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