African Journal of Marine Science

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Extension of PIRATA in the tropical South-East Atlantic: an initial one-year experiment

M Rouault, J Servain, CJC Reason, B Bourlès, MJ Rouault, N Fauchereau


The Pilot (later termed Prediction) and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) programme, developed as a multinational network  by Brazil, France and the USA, has deployed and maintained an array of 17 Autonomous Temperature Line Acquisition Systems (ATLAS)  buoys in the tropical Atlantic Ocean since 1997. The Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) PIRATA buoy, called Kizomba is the  south-eastern extension of the original PIRATA array of moorings. It was deployed 4 100 m deep at about 6° S, 8° E on 27 June 2006 and recovered on 9 June 2007. The mooring is fitted with a current meter/temperature sensor deployed 10–13 m deep, five temperature/conductivity sensors deployed at depths of 1, 10, 20, 40 and  120 m, five temperature sensors positioned at depths of 60, 80, 100, 140 and 180 m, and two temperature/pressure sensors at 300 m and 500 m, as well as an anemometer, air temperature,  humidity and short-wave solar radiation probes, and a rain gauge. The initial results from the first year of data collected by the buoy are presented with a view to providing scientific and societal motivation for the continuation of the extension of PIRATA in the tropical South-East Atlantic.

Keywords: Angola–Benguela Front; ocean observing system; PIRATA; tropical Atlantic; upwelling

African Journal of Marine Science 2009, 31(1): 63–71
AJOL African Journals Online