SOCIB participates in CALYPSO program's oceanographic experiment in the Balearic Sea

The Balearic Islands Ocean Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB) is involved in a multiplatform experiment in the Balearic Sea, in collaboration with the international team of the CALYPSO Program. This experiment aims to understand the pathways for vertical transport of heat, nutrients, carbon and oxygen in the ocean.

The CALYPSO Program involves scientific and technical teams from worldwide well known oceanographic institutes: the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA, CSIC-UIB) and SOCIB, in Spain, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Miami, the University of Delaware and the Applied Ocean Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington, in the United States, and the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, in Italy. This program is funded by the United States Office of Naval Research (ONR) and is aimed to understand, characterize and predict three-dimensional transport in the ocean, both horizontally and vertically, from its study in the western Mediterranean, a small-scale natural laboratory and one of the ocean's richest biodiversity hotspots.

On 9 February, SOCIB deployed two Slocum gliders (co-funded by ERDF funds) that are collecting data and sampling the Balearic region where, from 15 February, two scientific cruises will be carried out on board Pourquoi Pas? (Ifremer) and Pelagia (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research) research vessels. Members of SOCIB will also participate in these cruises as part of the technical team. 

On the other hand, the Western Mediterranean OPerational Forecasting System (WMOP) is playing a key role in the development of this multiplatform experiment. Together with the satellite observations, the model's forecasts developed by SOCIB will guide the scientific and technical teams of both research vessels towards the areas where fronts, filaments and small scale eddies are located in the Balearic Sea, i.e. indicating the areas where high vertical velocities can be developed. The WMOP model assimilates in real time satellite observations and in situ data collected by the gliders and CTDs deployed in the framework of this experiment.

The WMOP forecasts for CALYPSO experiment in the Balearic Sea can be visualized in this page.

Figure 1. Sea surface density and currents, WMOP ocean forecast (example)