The Ocean-Bottom Instrumentation Facility forms part of the Ocean-Bottom Instrumentation Consortium (OBIC) and is a collaboration with partners at the Universities of Durham and Southampton.

The OBIC are contracted by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to provide the Ocean-Bottom Instrumentation Facility (OBIF), as part of the NERC’s Support & Facilities infrastructure support, as the third operational node of the Geophysical Equipment Facility.

The Ocean-Bottom Instrumentation Facility aims to:

  • Maintain a facility comprising modern and serviceable seabed geophysical instrument platforms suitable for application to a wide range of field-based data acquisition programmes within the earth sciences.
  • Provide advice and training in the planning and execution of marine geophysical experiments and the associated seabed instrumentation operations.
  • Provide support on the basis of independently secured funding and tailored to suit individual PIs and science applications.
  • Organise equipment scheduling that is compatible with NERC ship time scheduling, but is sufficiently flexible to support acquisition demands at short notice via air freight shipping or service agreements with equivalent other international providers.
  • De/mobilise and ship equipment to/from ports of call, coupled with the provision of professional technical support for equipment operation at sea.
  • Provide long-term archiving of acquired data in raw and standard data formats.
  • Advise and train on the formatting, archiving, processing and modelling of the resulting data.
  • Provide access to data processing and modelling facilities.
  • Provide bespoke research and development of equipment to suit specific project specifications.

Applying For OBIF Access Via NERC

  • Ocean-Bottom Instrument Facility costings cover all aspects of the sea-going operation and associated onshore maintenance, including staff costs. Deployments are costed according to a process agreed with the NERC and the associated funds are not available to the PI, but are released by NERC directly to OBIF as and when required by the Facility to meet its obligations to NERC.
  • We will provide a quotation which can be included as an attachment to the JeS form. The total cost is included in the section “Other directly incurred costs” but is then notionally awarded rather than passed to the applying institution.
  • The OBIF operates as PAYG under the NERC Support and Facilities contract. Therefore, Principal Investigators need to contact OBIF (via to get a quote.