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Research Associate Matt Grossi testing the ocean glider, Blue

SMAST West Seawater Lab

The ~2,200-square-feet lab, located in SMAST West, allows scientists from UMass Dartmouth/SMAST and other institutions to conduct research on living marine and estuarine organisms under controlled conditions.

The design of the SMAST West Seawater Facility allows researchers the ability to conduct experiments under various conditions, including raw or filtered seawater, water temperature, lighting controls, and treatment of discharge. All basic life support equipment is attached to the monitoring control and alarm system, which allows for continuous 24-hour monitoring of critical parameters.

Features and functionality

  • Approximately 2,200 square feet.
  • Remote alarm monitoring.
  • Corrosion-resistant seawater intake pumps are remotely operated and controlled from SMAST East to provide only the required amounts of seawater so that energy is conserved and not unnecessarily wasted by over pumping.
  • Designed with redundant seawater processing equipment and piping to address unanticipated conditions, maintenance, and biofouling, a major challenge with the nutrient-rich waters of Clark’s Cove.
  • The life support system is equipped with a 600-gallon sump, a Solar Components PS-75 foam fractionator, a Cyclonic Bioreactor, a 6 bulb 900 w UV sterilizer, and two sand filters.  The system is also equipped with two 5hp chillers and an 8 Kwh flow-thru heater to provide temperature regulation.
  • Filtration provides enhanced seawater clarity in the research tanks with the added benefit of removing potential predators to certain aquatic species that are being studied in the Marine Lab.
  • Seawater temperature ranges can be set from as low as 10C to as warm as 25C.
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