Under projects promoted by the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere, I.P. (IPMA, I.P.), “Atlantic Observatory – Data and Monitoring Infrastructure” funded by the EEA Grants Blue Growth programme and “OBSERVA.PT – Observations on board national commercial ships to support the conservation of marine biodiversity in the Portuguese Seas” funded by the Mar 2020 programme, six Argo floats were purchased to monitor physical and biogeochemical parameters of the water column.
The floats include four standard ARGO floats equipped with CTD for Conductivity, Temperature and Pressure measurement – model ARVOR-I; 1 standard ARGO float CTD(O) equipped with an additional sensor for Dissolved Oxygen measurement – model ARVOR-DO-I; and 1 Biogeochemical ARGO float equipped with CTD and six additional sensors of biogeochemical variables: pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate, Chlorophyll a, Suspended Particulates and, Downwelling Irradiance – model PROVOR CTS4. All floats have the capacity to reach a depth of 2,000 meters.
The floats are Portugal’s contribution to the International Argo Programme and will integrate this global ocean observation network, which has been collecting information about the ocean’s structure for more than 20 years, using drifting floats that perform profiles of the water column, between 2,000 m depth and the surface. Currently, there are close to 4,000 floats distributed across the global ocean, generating about 100,000 temperature/salinity profiles per year, made freely available. Because of its collaborative nature and scale at which it operates, the Argo network is an important component of the global ocean observing system.
The floats of IPMA, I.P. will be launched from the research vessel Mário Ruivo during the first half of 2023 between mainland Portugal and the Azores Archipelago, in order to collect information in undersampled areas in the national maritime territory.
IPMA, I.P. is strongly involved in the Argo network, being the national contact point of this programme, co-coordinator of the EuroGOOS Argo Task Team, and promotor of a future national programme called ARGO.PT.
To know more about the Argo programme: