Argo Floats - Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System
Original (non-English) name
Argo Floats - IMOS
Argo Floats deployed by IMOS provide real-time observations of the oceans around Australia. Argo floats measure both temperature and salinity in the upper 2000 m of the ocean every 10 days. On deployment, the float sinks to a park depth (e.g. 1000 m) and drifts with the ocean currents for 9 days. Then the float sinks deeper to its profile depth (usually 2000 m) before starting to ascend through the water column measuring temperature, salinity, and pressure as it rises. When the float reaches the surface, it transmits location and oceanographic measurements via satellite to land-based Argo data centers. After transmission, the float sinks again and repeats the cycle.
Argo floats have revolutionised our understanding of the broad-scale structure of the ocean. Since the Argo program began, the array of floats have provided more high-resolution ocean data than have ever been collected by traditional ship-based hydrography.
Data is publicly available from Global Data Access Centres within 24 hours of collection via the real-time data stream. Highly quality-controlled data is available after 12 months as part of the delayed mode data stream. Argo provides essential and in situ data for ocean and climate research and prediction/re-analyses.
The primary goal of the Argo program is to maintain a global array of autonomous profiling floats integrated with other elements of the climate observing system. Argo Australia, as part of the international collaborative effort, is the second-largest contributor to the global array.