The subsurface profiling float system MEDARGO
NRT observations in the water column, e.g.,
temperature and salinity
(T/S) profiles, are of fundamental importance for the world ocean and
particular for the operational forecasting system in the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean Sea has in fact a particularly strong salinity
contribution to density and any observing system in support of
nowcasting/forecasting should consider the combined observation of
temperature and salinity profiles.
As part of MFSTEP, NRT acquisition and processing of T/S profiles
provided by autonomous profilers deployed throughout the Mediterranean
will be implemented and tested. This will involve some hardware and
software development to adapt the currently available profiler
technology to the specifics of the Mediterranean environment. Along
the XBT data (WP1), the NRT data provided by the profilers will be the
backbone of the data assimilation and forecast system at basin scale
developed in The Previous Project. The data will be used for
assimilation in WP7 and WP8. Additionally, intermediate depth (350 m)
mean currents will be estimated, from the profiler displacements at
their neutral depth. The profiler data will enhance the value of sea
level measurements made by satellite altimeters (see WP3).
The profilers will be programmed to perform the following repetitive
cycle: descend to a prescribed neutral depth (350 m), drift at that
level for some time (3-7 days) and then dive down to about 700 m before
ascending to the surface while collecting T/S data. During their short
period at surface, the profilers will be located by, and the data will
be telemetered to, the satellite Argos system. Data processing, quality
control and archiving will be done at dedicated Data Centres. NRT
distribution will be done through Internet and the data will be
distributed on the World Weather Watch Global Telecommunication System
Although different in details, due to the characteristics of the
Mediterranean Sea, this WP, referred to as MEDARGO, is similar to the
international ARGO program started in 2000. ARGO consists of a global
array of T/S profiling floats to describe the evolving state of the
upper world oceans and the patterns of ocean climate variability. Thus,
strong interconnection is envisaged between MEDARGO and ARGO, in terms
of sharing data, sharing some tools for data processing and
visualization, and in terms of scientific evaluation and results.
13 July 2004
MEDARGO-MFSTEP has officially started its
operational phase with the deployment of two floats at the end of June.
Thanks to the efforts of the ICM team, two APEX floats were successfuly
deployed on 30 June 2004. The floats have provided their first deep
profiles (down to 2000 m; on 5 June) and their firstshallow profiles
(down to 700 m; on 10 June) satisfactorily. Float trajectory plots are
produced in near-real time at the MEDARGO/TEDC (OGS, Trieste) and
can be viewed at the following URL:
http://nettuno.ogs.trieste.it/WP4/real_time.html MEDARGO full datasets
be visualized and downloaded in quasi-real time through the
MFSTEP Data management web site.
18 August 2004
Three APEX floats were successfully deployed on
15 and 16 August 2004 in the Tyrrhenian Sea from R/V Urania by the OGS
(R. Barbanti) and CNR-ISAC (F. Bignami) teams.
17 September 2004
Four PROVOR floats were successfully deployed on
7 and 8 September2004 in the Liguro-Provencal and Algerian Basins from
R/V Thetys II by the CNRS/LOB
(C. Millot) team. Their deployment
locations as well as the tracks of the Catalan and Tyrrhenian floats
are shown in the
During this fall season six new MEDARGO
floats were successfully deployed in the Mediterranean: On 26-Oct-2004,
one PROVOR was deployed by the team of Jordi Font in the Alboran Sea;
On 12-Nov-2004, one PROVOR was deployed by the team of Antonio Cruzado
in the southern Ionian Sea concurrently with VOS XBT measurements; On
6/7-Dec-2004, four APEX were deployed by the team of Isaac Gertman in
the northern Ionian and Levatine Seas concurrently with VOS XBT
to all the above mentioned teams for the successful operations.
The MEDARGO fleet now includes 15 operating floats. Additional
deployments will be made in early 2005.
1 June 2005
During this spring season new MEDARGO floats were
successfully deployed in the Mediterranean. On 20-21 May 2005,
two APEX floats were successfully
deployed by the team of Isaac Gertman in the central
A total of 16 MEDARGO floats are now operating in the
Mediterranean, 9 units in the western basin and 7 in the
eastern basin. As of 1 June, they have provided more than
700 CTD profiles since June 2004.
12 August 2005
The MEDARGO floats have provided more than 1000 CTD profiles
since the beginning of the program. As of today, 15 units are
still operating and we have reached a total of 1008 profiles.
28 November 2005
The last two MEDARGO floats
were successfuly deployed in the southern Ionian and
Levatine Seas during the EGITTO-1 oceanographic cruise
onboard R/V OGS-EXPLORA on 14-16 November 2005.
In addition, 3 floats provided by the France Argo program
were deployed. They all have the MEDARGO cycling and
sampling characteristics. Thank you to the OGS and
LOB/CNRS teams for these successful deployments.
As of today, 18 floats are still operating in most areas of the
Mediterranean Sea. Since July 2004, the MEDARGO floats
have provided more than 1300 CTD profiles.
APEX float being deployed from VOS Britain Star (7 Dec 2004)
Workpackage Coordinator: Dr. Pierre-Marie Poulain (OGS,