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Nutrient Sensors

Nutrient Sensors
Sea-Bird Scientific’s line of nutrient sensors deliver high-resolution, continuous nutrient measurements that provide unique insights into the coupling of hydrological, geochemical, and biological processes. From lakes and rivers to deep oceans, continuous monitoring of nutrients is increasingly being used to understand ecosystem dynamics at time scales that capture daily processes, trends and events.

Eutrophication is the enrichment of natural water bodies with nutrients, usually from anthropogenic sources, causing significant changes in ecosystem structures. The two major sources of nutrient additions to lakes, rivers and coastal oceans are:
• Run-off from fertilizers used in terrestrialagricultural applications
• Discharge of wastewater, both directlyand from treatment plants
The unnatural increase of macro-nutrients, especially nitrate and phosphorus, into coastal water bodies leads to the stimulation of algae blooms which can be disruptive and harmful to fish and humans. Once harmful algae blooms, or HABs, deteriorate and sink to deeper layers, anoxic conditions can occur as bacteria break down the dead organic material. As the severity and frequency of HABs increase, governments and scientists have become increasingly interested in monitoring and understanding nutrient cycles with in situ nutrient sensors.


The Sea-Bird Scientific SUNA V2 (Submersible Ultraviolet Nitrate Analyzer) is an optical UV nitrate sensor based on the ISUS (In Situ Ultraviolet Spectroscopy) UV nitrate measurement technology developed at MBARI. Sea-Bird Scientific adapted the technology to develop the SUNA V2 to measure nitrate in increasingly more challenging environments including extremely turbid and high CDOM conditions. With improved optics and built-in logic, the SUNA V2 measures nitrate with industry-leading accuracy and stability over a wide range of environmental conditions, from blue-ocean nitraclines to storm runoff in rivers and streams.

Based on the proven MBARI-ISUS nitrate sensor, the Deep SUNA has been redesigned for easy integration with AUVs of all types. Deep SUNA provides real time, chemical-free nitrate calculations in deep ocean environments using Sea-Bird Scientific’s advanced UV absorption technology.

The HydroCycle-PO4 is a wet-chemical sensor engineered for environmental monitoring to enable valid, scientifically defensible results that lead to better management recommendations. It is ideally suited for monitoring point and non-point source nutrient inputs and environmental dynamics and change. The HydroCycle-PO4 is intended for continuous or real-time measurement of dissolved phosphate in

•Lakes and reservoirs
•Streams, rivers, channels, and canals
•Estuaries
•Coastal Oceans
Deep SUNA Ocean Nitrate Sensor

Measure nitrate to 2000 m

HydroCycle-PO₄ Phosphate Sensor

Monitor phosphate long-term, even in remote locations

SUNA V2 Nitrate Sensor

Measure nitrate in coastal environments and rivers and streams