Analysis of the global shipping traffic for the feasibility of a structural recovery program of Argo floats

Type Article
Date 2023-07
Language English
Other localization
Author(s) González-Santana Alberto1, Oosterbaan Marijn1, Clavelle Tyler2, Maze GuillaumeORCID4, Notarstefano Giulio3, Poffa Noé5, Vélez Belchí Pedro1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Centro Oceanográfico de Canarias. Instituto Español de Oceanografía - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IEO-CSIC), Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
2 : Global Fishing Watch (GFW), Washington, D.C., USA
3 : National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS), Trieste, Italy
4 : Ifremer, University of Brest, CNRS, IRD, Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), Plouzané, France
5 : Ifremer, Département Infrastructure Marines et Numériques, Brest, France
Meeting IUGG 2023 - XXVIII General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. 11-20 july 2023, Berlin
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (2296-7745) (Frontiers Media), 2023-07 , Vol. 10 , P. 1161580 (12p.)
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2023.1161580
Keyword(s) encounters, ships of opportunity, recovery, sensor accuracy, AIS, Argo floats

The Argo observation network is made up of approximately 4,000 drifting floats, which provide valuable information about the ocean and its role in the climate system. Each one of these floats work in continuous cycles, until their batteries run out. Despite its consolidated technology, the Argo community continually assesses the status of the sensors mounted on each of the floats. Recovering floats would offer a great opportunity to gain insight into sensor performance and stability, although the economic and environmental costs of dedicating a ship exclusively to recover Argo floats make it unsustainable. In this work, the potential of world shipping traffic as float recoverers has been evaluated through an analysis of encounters based on the Automatic Identification System (AIS) of ships and the location of Argo floats in the years 2019 and 2020. About 18,500 and 28,500 encounters happened for both years, respectively, being the Mediterranean Sea region the basin that hosted the most encounters, and fishing boats the most suitable type of ship aimed for potential recoveries. A total of 445 and 540 floats interacted with the world shipping traffic in favorable weather conditions in both years, a figure equivalent to 44% - 54% of the annual replacement rate of the Argo network. The same approach was applied to 703 floats affected by fast salinity drift (FSD), an issue that has recently come to the attention of the Argo community. It turned out that 215 and 301 FSD-affected floats interacted with ships of opportunity in both years.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Publisher's official version 27 10 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

González-Santana Alberto, Oosterbaan Marijn, Clavelle Tyler, Maze Guillaume, Notarstefano Giulio, Poffa Noé, Vélez Belchí Pedro (2023). Analysis of the global shipping traffic for the feasibility of a structural recovery program of Argo floats. Frontiers In Marine Science, 10, 1161580 (12p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :