ABACUS 3 project information


The project aims at assessing the importance of a new monitoring line across the Algerian Basin between  Palma de Mallorca and the Algerian Coast.

The main objectives of the ABACUS 3 project are:

  • To continue the time series of oceanographic data collected in the Algerian Basin along the endurance line between Mallorca and Algeri;
  • To identify the physical and biological properties of the surface and intermediate water masses between Balearic Islands and Algerian Coast;
  • To intercept any mesoscale eddy identified during the mission;
  • To understand the sub-basins dynamics and the complex interactions due to eddies;
  • To assess the ocean description capabilities of several satellite products when approaching coastal areas, also comparing them to glider high resolution in situ data;
  • To validate the new along-track (L3) and gridded interpolated maps (L4) altimetry products provided by the Sentinel-3 altimetry mission and the other satellites for the western Mediterranean Sea.

Through its activities, ABACUS-3 project contributed to data collection in the Southern European Seas, one of the main EU maritime policy objectives, as outlined in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).

The ABACUS glider mission was first realized in 2014 through application to the 3rd JERICO TNA call. Since then two more mission have been realized.

The new glider mission realized in November-December 2016 allowed to extend the dataset previously collected in the area (Autumn 2014 and 2015) in order to enrich the data useful for an interannual comparison.

Last mission main achievements can be summarized through some technical data:

  • 49 days in water
  • 1127.90 Km (609 Nm) navigated
  • About 1800 triplet-profiles (CTD, Oxygen, Fluorescence)
  • 2 SENTINEL-3 overflights
  • 4 SENTINEL-3 swath-segments

The scientific and technical team of ABACUS is composed by scientists from University of Naples “Parthenope” (Italy), Sistema d’observació i predicció costaner de les Illes Balears – ICTS SOCIB (Spain) and from Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados: IMEDEA (Spain). At least one meeting a year has been realized at the glider facility to analyse data collected through the glider missions and discuss the scientific results achieved. Up to now ABACUS results have been presented in 2 scientific papers and 7 international conferences.

More details on the ABACUS Project can be found in “Glider and satellite high resolution monitoring of a mesoscale eddy in the algerian basin: Effects on the mixed layer depth and biochemistry”, by Y Cotroneo, G Aulicino, S Ruiz, A Pascual, G Budillon, G Fusco, J Tintoré. Journal of Marine Systems, 162, 2016, pages 73-88.


The activity described in this report has received funding from European Commission’s H2020 Framework Programme  under JERICO-NEXT project, grant agreement No. 654410.



Proposal reference number JN-CALL 1_2
Project Acronym (ID) ABACUS-3
Title of the project Third Algerian BAsin Circulation Unmanned Survey
Host Research Infrastructure SOCIB glider facility (SOCIB-GF)
Project Starting date – End date November 2016 – April 2017
Glider Mission Starting date –End date 4Nov 2016 – 23 Dec 2016
Name of Principal Investigator Prof. Giorgio Budillon
Home Laboratory Address

Università degli Studi di Napoli “Parthenope” Centro Direzionale Isola C4 – Napoli, Italy

E-mail address giorgio.budillon@uniparthenope.it
Telephone +39 081 5476584