WP3 - Italian scientific network of fixed sites for sea observation

The Italian Fixed-point Observatory Network (IFON) integrates the well-established ocean infrastructures managed by numerous national research institutions. Until now, the state of art of the 15 stations operating in the Mediterranean Sea has been completed. For each site, technical characteristics and procedures for data transmission were described. For some sites, an upgrade of the instrumentation and transmission procedures was also performed in order to homogenize the network. Periodically, oceanographic cruises were conducted for the maintenance and implementation of the sites.

After the definition of the minimum requirements that each site must have to be part of the network, the criteria for the validation of physical and biogeochemical data were defined. They comprise a selection of existing standards, procedures and recommendations concerning the automatic quality control of the data (QC), and their validation in real time (RT). These procedures aim to unify the validation criteria of the parameters collected daily from the network and to provide the scientific community of a homogeneous and comparable data set for the Italian seas. These criteria and procedures are based on various methodologies already applied at an international level.

Within the WP3, a relocatable observing system for emergencies at sea was created. New instruments were acquired and others already in use have been upgraded. The infrastructure, consisting of 6 moorings, was tested on a case study in the Southern Adriatic Sea in order to investigate the cascading of dense waters in Italian and Croatian waters through a collaboration with the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries in Split.

Plus, it is also planned to integrate an air-sea observatory on the island of Lampedusa with the deployment of a new buoy. Preliminary stages were completed and the buoy will be operative in summer 2015.