GETSCh: Glider Experiments in the Tunisia-Sardinia Channel

User group PI: Sana Ben Ismail, Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer, Tunisia

Hosting infrastructure: CNRS-INSU Glider National Facility, France

Main Objectives

The proposed research is focusing on the Channel of Sardinia. The Sardinia Channel is an important passage connecting the Algerian and the Tyrrhenian basins, with a sill depth of about 1900 m. In spite of the considerable amount of work achieved and accurate results obtained about the circulation in the Western Mediterranean Sea, during the last 20 years, the Sardinia Channel is still one of the less explored regions where the dynamical processes and water exchanges are not yet clearly identified.

In order to clarify some of these processes, in particular those related to the mesoscale variability, which might be related to the instable behaviour of the Algerian current and associated eddies, as well as interaction with the topography and the widening of the shelf in the channel, our methodology will be based on a combined approach using glider observations in the channel, sea surface height observation by satellite altimetry and available ship borne CTD, ferrybox, profiling floats and mooring data in the adjacent basins. It also includes the glider data collected by the ABACUS4.1 project (this TNA call) and conversely the GETSCh data will be made available to the ABACUS4.1 members. The combination of all those data sets coming from multiple measuring platforms has demonstrated the benefits for improving the knowledge on water masses properties and mesoscale dynamics, as well as more quantitative analysis.

The main objectives included in the proposed research are:

  1. identify the physical properties of the surface and intermediate water masses between Northern Tunisian Coast and Sardinia;
  2. study the variability of the physical properties of surface and intermediate water masses;
  3. understand exchanges through sub- basins and the complex interactions through eddies;
  4. evaluate the transport of water, salt and heat through the area and verify if the interannual variability of the surface and intermediate water masses is due to climatic changes (here use of the LOCEAN CTD historical database);
  5. assess the capabilities of coastal altimetry when validated by in-situ data.



Project Report:

GETSCh Report Final (328.4 KiB)