MedArgo: a drifting profiler program in the Mediterranean Sea

Type Article
Date 2007-08
Language English
Author(s) Poulain P1, Barbanti R1, Font J2, Cruzado A3, Millot Claude4, Gertman I5, Griffa A6, Molcard A7, Rupolo V8, Le Bras Sylvie9, de La Villeon L9
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ist Nazl Oceanog & Geofis Sperimentale, Trieste, Italy.
2 : ICM CSIC, Trieste, Italy.
3 : CEAB CSIC, Blanes, Spain.
4 : LOB CNRS, La Seyne Sur Mer, France.
5 : IOLR, Haifa, Israel.
6 : CNR, La Spezia, Italy.
7 : Univ Toulon & Var, La Garde, France.
8 : Ente Nuove Tecnol Energia & Ambiente ENEA, Rome, Italy.
9 : IFREMER, Brest, France.
Source Ocean Science (1812-0784) (European Geosciences Union (EGU)), 2007-08 , Vol. 3 , N. 3 , P. 379-395
WOS© Times Cited 62
Abstract In the framework of the EU-funded MFSTEP project, autonomous drifting profilers were deployed throughout the Mediterranean Sea to collect temperature and salinity profile data and to measure subsurface currents. The realization of this profiler program in the Mediterranean, referred to as MedArgo, is described and assessed using data collected between June 2004 and December 2006 (including more than 2000 profiles). Recommendations are provided for the permanent future implementation of MedArgo in support of operational oceanography in the Mediterranean Sea.

More than twenty drifting profilers were deployed from research vessels and ships-of-opportunity in most areas of the Mediterranean. They were all programmed to execute 5-day cycles with a drift at a parking depth of 350m and CTD profiles from either 700 or 2000m up to the surface. They stayed at the sea surface for about 6 h to be localised by, and transmit the data to, the Argos satellite system. The temperature and salinity data obtained with pumped Sea-Bird CTD instruments were processed and made available to the scientific community and to operational users in near-real time using standard Argo protocols, and were assimilated into Mediterranean numerical forecasting models.

In general, the cycling and sampling characteristics chosen for the MedArgo profilers were found to be adequate for the Mediterranean. However, it is strongly advised to use GPS and global cellular phone telemetry or the future Argos bidirectional satellite system in order to avoid data compression and losses, for the continuation of the Mediterranean drifting profiler program.
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Poulain P, Barbanti R, Font J, Cruzado A, Millot Claude, Gertman I, Griffa A, Molcard A, Rupolo V, Le Bras Sylvie, de La Villeon L (2007). MedArgo: a drifting profiler program in the Mediterranean Sea. Ocean Science, 3(3), 379-395. Open Access version :