By: Filipe Neves
From: Universidade de Lisboa
At: Instituto de Investigação Interdisciplinar, B1-01
The ARGO program is part of GOOS, a permanent global system for ocean observations designed to support operational ocean services worldwide. The ARGO program consists of a global array of 3500 free-drifting profiling floats (Argo floats) that measure temperature and salinity of the upper 2000 m of the ocean, allowing a continuous monitoring of these variables and of the velocity of the ocean layer where interactions with the atmosphere are stronger.
Through the Center of Oceanography, Portugal has been involved, together with several European partners, in the EuroArgo project, whose aim is to develop the European contribution to the maintenance of this global observational array. Recently, Portugal gave a more effective contribution to this program, by deploying an Argo float. This operation was done in collaboration with IPMA (the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere) from aboard the RV Noruega, and the float was deployed off Cabo Espichel (38o 26â€™N, 9o 46â€™W).
A preliminary analysis of the data already retrieved during the first nine cycles performed by this float, has shown an unusual southward drift at the 1000-m depth, but this is only the beginning of a 5-year long life of continuous 10-day cycles of profiling and drifting with the ocean currents.