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Imedea achieves more accurate measurements of Ibiza's Canal

The Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (Imedea) has launched the first scientific campaign that combines the use of a new satellite with the latest technologies for oceanographic data in higher resolution than had been achieved so far of Ibiza's Canal.

The first step was to use the new satellite SARAL / AltiKa for precision altimetry measurements. They also launched several drifting buoys (to measure the trajectory and speed of surface currents) a glider (to take measures such as pressure, temperature or salinity) and a high-resolution radar (for measurements of surface currents from three kilometers of coastline to 60 kilometers).

The campaign was launched in August 2013 and the results were presented at a conference organized by the European Space Agency. According to research, "the satellites provide information of the surface ocean (temperature, sea level, roughness, waves, chlorophyll...) while the gliders sampled sea subsurface layers (up to 1,000 m deep). The combination of both allows to obtain a 3D image of the ocean, and illustrative for accurate data interpretation. What we have achieved with this campaign has been to improve the data resolution from 1Hz to 40Hz, and get closer to the coast. We were able to sample a coastal current (at a distance of about 5-7 km southwest of Ibiza) with unprecedented resolution."

© Photo: CNES (Centre National d'Études Spatiales). SARAL / AltiKa satellite images.

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