Live Images & Data

Underwater in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica


The current image from the camera as it performs its 360-degree visual site surveys.

updates every 5 minutes
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Click a button to see continuously-updated images and data recorded by the MOO, 70-feet (21m) below the sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

MOO's camera rotates and zooms to over thirty predefined orientation waypoints, archiving photos and video for later analysis. Current images of three waypoints are presented here as well as an image taken every five minutes from wherever the camera happens to be pointing during its tours or under the control of our team.

Live video and audio from MOO are occasionally available on our YouTube channel. Check our broadcast schedule to watch the feed from the world’s first - and only - live-streaming ocean observatory in Antarctica.

Feel free to request a specific broadcast time to support your educational event or classroom learning objectives.

Virtually immerse yourself in this icy realm by playing this audio sample, recorded in November 2017. The audio features primarily sounds made by Weddell seals. 

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The MOO is located on the sea floor under the sea ice in southeastern McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. See what's happening on the surface in these live surface views.

Updates on Twitter @MOOAntarctica



McMurdo Station Data

Available to station personnel


A representation of the MOO's live video, audio and data viewer now available for personnel at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Live video is available on the station's internal TV network,  Channel 25. Ultimately, a live data viewer such as this will be made available on the worldwide internet. 



Data Panels


The MOO's HD video camera can be directed to pan, tilt and zoom to capture the scene in any direction except down. It performs nearly-continuous visual site surveys, recording video and still images continuously. Underwater audio plays continuously with the video stream.

Demo view from November 2017 shows the Home Northeast orientation waypoint. Invertebrates and fishes abound on and in the loose rock slope in the foreground. A Weddell seal is shown returning to a breathing hole in the background. The sea ice cover is 8 feet (2.5m) thick.

See the Video page to explore the MOO's home. 


A visual representation of the underwater sounds recorded by the MOO. Colors indicate sound intensity (red = loud, blue = quiet). The vertical position defines frequency and the horizontal axis indicates time as the data scrolls across the panel. Sound frequencies up to 200 khz are recorded; Human hearing range is only in the bottom fifth of the recorded frequency range displayed on the spectrogram.

Demo audio data recorded by the MOO (sample linked above) shows a typical chorus of Weddell seal vocalizations from November 2017. These are represented as descending red curves (trills or whistles), and low-frequency green spikes (chirps and blasts).

See the Audio page for more information. 


Temperature (blue line) – McMurdo Sound ranks among the coldest marine habitats on our planet. At the Observatory site the average annual seawater temperature is about -1.8°C (28.8°F), with maximum variation less than 2.0°C (3.6°F) over the course of each year. The freezing point of seawater is below that of fresh water (0°C, 32°F) due to the dissolved salts. 

Demo data from November 2017 shows early spring conditions when seawater is near its freezing point of about -1.91°C (28.5°F).

Calculated freezing point (white) – For our biological research we need to know when the seawater may be actively freezing. Due to the influence of the nearby Ross Ice Shelf, the seawater may be cooled to slightly below its freezing point. This supercooling drives the growth of ice on the sea floor (anchor ice), the underside of the sea ice (platelet ice), and within the water column (frazil).

Demo data does not show seawater supercooling at the observatory; the temperature line is above the freezing point line.

Hydrostatic pressure (magenta) – Differences in pressure are mostly due to changes in the level of the ocean tide. In McMurdo Sound, like many polar regions, we generally observe only one pronounced high and low tide each day, with a maximum tidal amplitude (change in height) of about 3 feet (1 meter). The pressure unit of decibar (db) is equal to approximately 3 feet (1 m) of depth in seawater.

Demo data shows the tidal variation over two days in November 2017.

Seawater salinity (green) – Variation in the saltiness of the water may indicate intrusion into or formation of different water masses in McMurdo Sound, or reveal the occurrence of sea ice growth, sea ice melting, or the runoff of meltwater from land in summer. The practical salinity unit (PSU) equals roughly the number of grams of salt dissolved per liter of water.

Demo data shows minute variations in salinity representative of early spring conditions when seawater temperature hovers around its freezing point. 

See the Ocean page for more information.