What is SCIMPI?

The Simple Cabled Instrument for Measuring Parameters In Situ (SCIMPI) is a new observatory instrument designed to study dynamic processes in sedimented subseabed regions (Moran et al., 2006). SCIMPI was developed to provide, when appropriate, an alternative to CORK subseafloor observatories that can be more complex, costly, and time consuming to install. SCIMPI makes time series measurements of subseafloor temperature, pressure, and electrical resistivity at several depths that can be tailored for site-specific scientific objectives. SCIMPI’s modular design enables custom configuration based on the study goals and the subseafloor characteristics. Battery life can be as long as 4 y, after which batteries can be replaced after recovering a seafloor command module where the data are recorded. The system can also be connected by way of a submarine cable to a land network that can provide a power source and real-time data transmission.

A second installation using a single-module SCIMPI was also prepared for deployment to demonstrate the capability to install an easily deployable, shallowly buried observatory after drilling Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) sediment holes. This test installation was installed using a “free-fall” installation approach. This single-module SCIMPI was dubbed SHRIMPI for “Short Instrument Modular Probe Installation.”