Argo and GO-BGC floats
Everything is going great on the cruise – the data look very nice so far, the research projects will all have interesting findings. Everyone is helping collect an amazing data set in an undersampled location of the world ocean.
Because we were travelling through a remote region, we have also been able to contribute to other research studies focused on autonomous sampling of the upper ocean, Argo and GO-BGC (Global Ocean Biogeochemical Array). Both programs are focused on deploying a fleet of robotic instruments that drift with the ocean currents and collect profiles water properties between the surface and 2000 m every 10 days. Argo (argo.ucsd.edu) has been in existence for over 20 years, and there are currently nearly 4000 floats throughout the world ocean. GO-BGC has added other sensors to the core Argo floats to be able to measure data relating to the biology and chemistry of the oceans.
We were able to contribute to both programs during this voyage by deploying six core Argo floats, provided by the UW float facility, along our transect between Moloka’i and the sampling station at 5°N and 180°, and a BGC Argo float at the sampling station at the equator.
As you can see in the map at the top of the page, GO-BGC is still in the early stages of deploying floats and this float is further west than the previously deployed floats in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. We also collected water samples that will be valuable for calibrating the sensors on the BGC Argo float.
As part of the GO-BGC program, teachers and classrooms across the country are encouraged to “Adopt-A-Float” in order to engage with scientists and to follow “their” float as it surveys the ocean. The ECO-Tech Robotics Team from Endeavor Charter School in Fresno, CA had adopted the float we deployed. They asked that we name it, Rodriguez, after one of the senior teammates. During some downtime, the students on the 0000-0400 watch decorated the float for the robotics team, based upon Jace’s version of the school’s logo. We hope the data collected by this float spurs interest among the students at Endeavor Charter School in ocean observations and technology.
MARCH 10th UPDATE
The GO-BGC float has sent back data from its first profile