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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory ARGO NOAA
Argo Profiling CTD Floats
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Project Overview

Public Distribution of Profiles through the Argo Data Systems

Field Operations and Photos

Contact Information


Welcome to the NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory profiling float web site. PMEL is active in delayed-mode salinity calibration and quality control for Argo floats. Between May 2001 and June 2002, 22 floats were deployed by PMEL in the Bering Sea and North Pacific in support of Steller's Sea Lion climate studies. Starting in December 2003, floats are being deployed by PMEL as part of the Argo program.

The floats are designed to drift at a fixed pressure (usually 1000 dbar) for 10 days. After this period, the floats move to a profiling pressure (usually between 1000 and 2000 dbar) then rise, collecting profiles of pressure, temperature, and salinity data on their way to the surface. Once at the surface, the floats remain there for under a day, transmitting the data collected by satellite back to NOAA/PMEL and allowing the satellite to determine their surface drift. They then sink again and repeat their mission.

The floats have a nominal lifetime of five years, and will yield valuable information about large-scale ocean water property distributions and currents, including their variability over time scales from seasonal to the duration of the array.

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