GLIDER-SOUTH: GLIDER missions in the SOUTHern Sicilian Channel

User group PI: Aldo Drago, Physical Oceanography Research Group, Dept. of Geosciences, University of Malta, Malta

Hosting infrastructure: CNRS-INSU Glider National Facility, France

Main Objectives

glider-southThe stretch of sea southward of the Maltese Islands beyond 35°N is practically an unexplored area of the Mediterranean Sea. Except for a very limited number of oceanographic surveys, the most recent one conducted within the MEDSUDMED initiative on the shelf area close to Tripoli in summer 2006, data are very scarce and provide only a coarse description of the hydrographical conditions of the region.Knowledge about the thermohaline characteristics and the water mass circulation in the southern Sicilian Channel is mainly derived from regional scale numerical simulations and satellite observations. The surface circulation appears to be complex with the presence of gyres, eddies and current bifurcations, and characterized by a significant seasonal modulation.

The significant extent of the African (Tunisian and Libyan) continental shelf, with a large portion of very shallow bathymetry, renders sampling efforts and the characterisation and location of water masses somewhat demanding; furthermore national structures for data acquisition, even in the coastal sea areas, are greatly lacking.

The present proposal has the main objective of sampling intensively this historically under surveyed area of the Sicily Channel, by using dedicated glider missions in the area shown in Fig. 1, supported by joint Lagrangian drifter experiments, the deployment of a float and assessments through the use of numerical model simulations to better interpret the pertinent processes in this marine domain.

Figure 1- Area of investigation in the Southern Sicily Channel
Figure 1- Area of investigation in the Southern Sicily Channel



Project Report: 

GLIDER-SOUTH Report Final (313.0 KiB)