A last check before the launch: Patrick Leibold and Warith Al Sheibany controlling the Wave Glider aboard the AL SEERAH. Photo: Warner Brückmann / GEOMAR

A last check before the launch: Patrick Leibold and Warith Al Sheibany controlling the Wave Glider aboard the AL SEERAH. Photo: Warner Brückmann / GEOMAR

Patrick Leibold, Waleed Al Maawali, Dr. Omar Al Abri, Warith Al Sheibany (from right) prepare the Wave Glider for the test mission. Photo: Warner Brückmann / GEOMAR

Patrick Leibold, Waleed Al Maawali, Dr. Omar Al Abri, Warith Al Sheibany (from right) prepare the Wave Glider for the test mission. Photo: Warner Brückmann / GEOMAR

The map shows the area of operations with the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, Muscat, right below the small coastal town Quriyat with the start track of the Wave Glider.

The map shows the area of operations with the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, Muscat, right below the small coastal town Quriyat with the start track of the Wave Glider.

The Wave Glider in the water. Photo: Warner Brückmann / GEOMAR

The Wave Glider in the water. Photo: Warner Brückmann / GEOMAR

The Omani-German team: Patrick Leibold, Mark Schmidt, Omar Al Abri, Warith Al Sheibany, Warner Brückmann. Photo: TRC Communication Department

The Omani-German team: Patrick Leibold, Mark Schmidt, Omar Al Abri, Warith Al Sheibany, Warner Brückmann. Photo: TRC Communication Department

02.08.2018

Successful Technology Trial off the world’s hottest coast

Research project on offshore groundwater discharge in the Gulf of Oman reaches new milestone

02 August 2018 / Muscat, Kiel. Fed by onshore groundwater resources, freshwater discharges from the seafloor off many coasts of the earth and mixes with the saline seawater. However, if the near-shore groundwater reservoirs are overexploited, there is a risk of seawater entering the aquifer tainting the remaining groundwater. For countries in particularly arid regions of the world that would be very critical. Against this backdrop, the Institute for Advanced Technology Integration (IATI) of the Sultanate Oman cooperates with the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and the Environmental Research Centre in Leipzig (UFZ) to investigate groundwater pathways onshore and offshore along the coast of the Oman.
One of the aims of the project is to develop technology which enables an autonomous wave glider to measure groundwater discharge off the coasts of Oman. Wave Gliders generally use wave energy for propulsion, while solar panels deliver energy for sensors, satellite communication and computers. This allows the device to operate autonomously in coastal waters for weeks.

An important milestone in the project has now been achieved with the first deployment of the Wave Glider off the east coast of Oman. During a cruise with the Omani vessel AL SEERAH near the city of Quriyat, the participating GEOMAR and Omani scientists successfully tested all project-relevant systems and sensors. Quriyat is one of the hottest places in the world this summer, with the lowt temperatures at night around 42 ° C. "Despite these extreme conditions, the Wave Glider worked very reliably. We are delighted", project engineer Patrick Leibold remarked.

Dr. Omar Al Abri, the project manager from Oman, also is pleased about the successful test. "The technologies developed in this project are the ticket to a variety of usage scenarios in other areas of Oman's offshore economy," he says. The government of Oman is funding the project with a total of 3.2 million euros.