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Euro-argo

EUROARGO is the European component of ARGO, the largest worldwide system of in-situ ocean observation, operating for more than ten years. It is based on measurements with autonomous profilers, surface floats, underwater gliders, vessels of opportunity and it includes observations of temperature, salinity, streams and other features of water masses.

The infrastructure EUROARGO-ITALY is the Italian component of this in situ global observation system and OGS hosts the operational centre for the real-time monitoring of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.

It is a system of long-term monitoring which will become key resource information to study the role of the Mediterranean Sea in the climate system. In general, supply data from ocean monitoring systems to improve significantly the medium-and long-term atmosphere and ocean. EUROARGO-ITALY will contribute to operational oceanography programs, such as MOON (Mediterranean Operational Oceanography Network) and MyOcean (European project FP7) and will be essential for the production of "marine core services" and "downstream services" of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security). It will also be an important component of GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems).

With funding received from the Ministry of Education it has been possible to carry out the following activities as part of EUROARGO-ITALY:

  • It has been defined a strategic research agenda and the relevant type of instruments to be used to perform the activity at the best. We then proceeded to purchasing the equipment that includes 12 autonomous profilers (float), 30 surface floats (drifters) and 1 submarine glider (deep glider).
  • It was established a Scientific Advisory Committee (IASG) to ensure a substantial technical and scientific contribution of EUROARGO-ITALY within international projects. In addition, this committee should give an innovative and at the forefront of marine technology and oceanography contribution and ensure the large participation of Italian qualified users.

Of particular importance in this context are the planning of the launching of the instrumentation and the collection, storage and distribution of data in "real-time", in collaboration with other European scientific organizations. As coordinator, Italy is also responsible for the analysis in "delayed-mode" of the data and their dissemination to the worldwide collection centres. The degree of relevance of EUROARGO-ITALY is also testified by the activity of training and "capacity building" in the surrounding countries carried out by Italy to the Black Sea and the Adriatic. In addition, Italy participated in developing technology for telemetry data in the Mediterranean and, in particular, to test using the Iridium satellite system.

The results of EUROARGO-ITALY ensure the basic needs of the observations on the ocean physical properties and, in a short time, even on the biochemical ones, which are useful to the whole Italian oceanographic community. The activity of EUROARGO-ITALY includes both the basic studies on marine circulation, and the operational oceanography, in particular for forecasting the state of the sea and climate studies. The infrastructure also allows, through its data, to provide a picture updated as never of the environmental characteristics of the Mediterranean Sea, an element of interest at European level, as recognized by the recent survey carried out by the "European Environmental Agency" on behalf of the EU.

For more details see www.euro-argo.eu

Contact person: dr. Pierre Marie Poulain