PLOCAN, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC) and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) continue to collaboratively promote and reinforce the ocean observation strategy in the Canary Islands through the seasonal program of glider missions at the ESTOC Time Series (deep node of the PLOCAN Integrated Observatory as member of the European EMSO-ERIC infrastructure) and Deep Radial of the Canary Islands: Study and observation of the climate variability of the subtropical gyre in the Eastern Central Atlantic (Radial RAPROCAN), managed by PLOCAN and the IEO-CSIC respectively.
Proof of this is the beginning of a new mission as ESTOC 2023_3 with an estimated duration of three weeks that has a scheduled journey of approximately two hundred nautical miles, performing dives every three hours at a depth of one thousand meters using a SeaExplorer unit that belongs to PLOCAN’s fleet of autonomous marine vehicles.
The main goal of this seasonal glider program is to contribute to the ESTOC and RAPROCAN time series sustainability, through routine ocean observations through the use of autonomous technologies that are more efficient and sustainable than through more traditional methodologies such as oceanographic vessels. On this occasion, the mission will support specific research projects such as Mission Atlantic (coordinated by DTU), GROOM-II (coordinated by ARMINES), FLUCARO (coordinated by IOCAG/ULPGC), MARCET-II (coordinated by ULPGC) and SEAHAWK-1 (under coordination of the University of Georgia, USA).
The ESTOC 2023_3 mission will enable to collect nearly one million data on each of the five biogeochemical parameters of seawater observed (temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll and turbidity), all in line with current programs, projects, standards and international methodologies related to the observation of the oceanic environment. In addition, measurements of particles (including plankton) in the water column will be carried out using a novel image capture sensor.
PLOCAN, as gliderport infrastructure member of flagship European initiatives and working groups such as EGO, EuroGOOS, OceanGliders, OceanSites, EMSO, etc., contributes with this type of initiatives to both the implementation of protocols and international standards for the operation of autonomous platforms, ocean monitoring, as well as the dissemination of the data generated. An example is the contribution to the European strategy for the management and standardization of marine data through direct cooperation with the Coriolis and EMODNet initiatives, which makes it possible to have the data collected by the glider in each of the dives in real time, with quality control and standardized European format.
More information at PLOCAN Glider Portal.