On February 10, 2022, Pedro Gouveia Martins made the public presentation of his internship report to conclude the degree in Environmental and Marine Technology at the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (IPS), entitled “Study on the spatial and temporal coverage of the Argo network in the Northeast Atlantic”. The internship took place at IPMA’s Research Vessels and Oceanographic Observatories Group between September 2021 and January 2022, under the guidance of Dr. Tanya Silveira and Dr. Mafalda Carapuço, being a relevant contribution to the Pre-defined Project “Atlantic Observatory – Data and Monitoring Infrastructure” funded by the EEA Grants Blue Growth Programme, under which the acquisition of Argo floats is planned. The work also relied on the precious help of Dr. Joana Teixeira from DivSI of IPMA in data processing.
Pedro’s internship aimed to characterise the spatial and temporal coverage of measurements of water column parameters with Argo floats in the North-East Atlantic, in the area of interest to Portugal, since the beginning of the Argo global programme in 1998. The results obtained show that throughout the area of interest (with resolution of 1°lat x 1°long) there are temperature and salinity data up to at least 2 000 metres depth, collected mainly by core-Argo floats. Still, the spatial density is, as of November 2021, about 0.15 floats per 3°lat x 3°long cell per month, much lower than the initial goal of the international Argo programme which envisaged a coverage of 1 float per 3°lat x 3°long cell per month for the global ocean.
The results obtained from Pedro’s internship are an important contribution for the identification of gaps in the spatial coverage of Argo floats, supporting the decision to invest in the extension of the observation network and selection of sites to monitor. This was an example of success of collaboration, bringing together the academic component of IPS and training in the professional environment of IPMA, and Pedro is congratulated for the completion of his internship and degree.