TRANSMED (Pilot project)

Coordinator: Isabelle Taupier-Letage
Lab. d'Océanographie et de Biogéochimie (LOB), CNRS, Antenne de Toulon, La Seyne/mer, France
Fax: + 33 (0)4 94 87 83 07

Brief description of the project (PDF file - 4,9 Mo).

Project Summary:

TRANSMED aims, in fine, at developing a network for monitoring the surface of the Mediterranean, using ships of opportunity. Figure 1 represents such an optimal network, based on existing/actual shipping lines. It includes routes crossing the whole basins, sampling the dense water formation areas, and investigating poorly-known areas. Ferries are especially adequate, since they allow building time series with a relatively high temporal scale. Thus it is generally possible to correctly describe the mesoscale, which is present everywhere in the Mediterranean. Usually sub-sampled data are sent in real time (via Inmarsat), and contribute to operational oceanography.

The basic equipment is a thermosalinometer, which records the hydrological (temperature and salinity) parameters. Other instruments such as fluorometers (for phytoplankton chlorophyll determination) and biogeochemical sensors (for dissolved oxygen, pCO2, nutrients…) can also be added, possibly completed by a meteorological station.

As a pilot phase, a SeaKeepers Module (thermosalinometer plus meteorological station) has been installed on the SNCM car-ferry “Mediterranee”, which crosses the whole western basin from Marseilles to Algeria and Tunisia, approximately once per week.

Figure 1: Potential routes for later Transmed development.

Project chronology:

  • March 2005: beginning of the “operational“ pilot phase.
  • Planning of the temporal series: data acquisition expected to be permanent.
  • Duration of pilot phase: 1 year.

Cooperating agencies: