Might Be Too Late For ManKind.
Location of Aquarius at Conch Reef, including work sites and instrument deployments
Aquarius is located at Conch Reef, approximately nine miles south of Key Largo, in the Florida Keys. Aquarius is located in a sand
patch approximately 63 feet deep that is surrounded by spur and groove coral formations. Conch Reef is loosely described as
a bank reef, with a shallow platform inshore and several deep reef formations found to depths of approximately 115 feet. The
seaward spur and groove formations are located a relatively long distance from the shallow reef flats and appear to be antecedent
formations with thin Holocene coral cover. A high resolution bathymetric map of the site is available. A good general description of
reefs in Florida was compiled by Jaap (1984) and geological considerations are available in Shinn et al. (1989). Aronson et al.
(1994) provides benthic community descriptions of Conch Reef and other sites in the upper Keys. A summary of research
supported by the Center in Florida is available.
A shore-based Mission Control center is located in Key Largo, approximately 12 kilometers from Aquarius, and includes a
specially designed "watch desk" with computers and communication equipment linked to Aquarius via wireless telemetry. Also
located on shore are: docks for the program's boats; office space; storage and work rooms for dive gear and equipment; an
electronics shop; a six-person, dual-lock decompression chamber for emergency evacuation of Aquarius; two laboratories;
and living accommodations for on-duty staff and visiting scientists.
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