Climate and Acidification Ocean Simulator (CAOS)

CAOS is a multi-user, dedicated, outdoor raceway experimental area that can be used to mimic future ocean acidification (OA) and climate change (CC) scenarios. The facility also includes an OA chemistry dry laboratory space as well as a general chemistry lab space. This system is available for in-house staff, visiting scientists, students and educational groups at Mote’s IC2R3 for a fee (as described below). This system uses seawater that is continuously pumped in from the Atlantic side of the Florida Keys, filtered through sand filters and large particle filters, and it has options for UV sterilization and carbon filtration. It includes outdoor raceways (shallow and deep), shade control, networked controllers, pH control and temperature control. This is a flow-through system that allows for continuous “new” water throughout experiments and is continuously monitored for pH and temperature in each tank (header tanks and representative aquaria).

CAOS Available Components

This system includes 12 shallow raceway tables with 5.5-gallon aquarium tanks and six deeper raceway tables with 37-gallon aquarium tanks (dimensions of raceways and available components listed below). Temperature is controlled by a boiler and chiller using a dual heat exchanger system connected to the header tanks and water baths. pH is controlled by bubbling CO2 gas into six large (1000 gallon) header tanks and mixed via a venturri pump system. Tanks are covered by a 30% shade cloth, but lighting/shading can be changed independently among tanks if needed.

Dimensions of Raceways and Available Components

  • 12 x shallow raceway tables (100 inch length x 40 inch width x 12 inch depth)

  • 6 x deep raceway tables (76 inch length x 40 inch width x 24 inch depth)

  • 120 x 5 gallon glass aquaria with lids drilled for pH probe, powerheads, etc.

  • 14 x 20 gallon glass aquaria with lids drilled for pH probe, powerheads, etc.

  • 13 x 37 gallon glass aquaria with lids drilled for pH probes, powerheads, etc.

  • 36 manifolds for shallow raceway tables

  • 27 manifolds for deep raceway tables

  • Networked temperature and pH monitoring plus control systems (Walchem W900s)

Fees for use of this system do not include project management, maintenance above and beyond normal wear and tear, maintenance to rebuild the system to specific needs, or staff chemist use (other than a couple of hours for initial set-up and system explanation). If adjustments are needed to the system, then there will be further charges for technical support and supplies. Mote can support these extra services for a fee. Visiting researchers will be responsible for providing their own sample bottles and other non-specific needs. Collaborative projects are welcome as well. To request any CAOS use, a 10% non-refundable cancelation fee will be required. We ask for three to six months’ advance request, as space fills up quickly. The system is provided “as-is.” The following rates apply to research groups using Mote IC2R3 and CAOS.

  • 1. Experimental system use WITHOUT OA or temperature manipulation (flowing seawater only).
    Shallow Raceways: $20/day (per raceway – additional fees for staff assistance at $40/hour)
    Deep Raceways: $30/day (per raceway)
  • 2. Experimental system use WITH OA and/or temperature manipulation
    Shallow Raceways: $38/raceway/day; $200/raceway/week; $798/raceway/month
    Mesocosm Raceways: $50/raceway/day; $263/raceway/week;$1050/raceway/month
    Total Seawater Alkalinity cost per sample: $17/sample (run by Mote Staff)
    DIC cost per sample: $30/sample (run by Mote Staff)
    pH Spectrophotometer: ($13)/sample (run by Mote Staff)

If interested in the use of this experimental area, please fill out our Facility Use Request Form.