15 Years of Oceanography in the Azores; from oceanographic cruises to an integrated approach.
Manuela Juliano(1) , Mario Alves(1) , Anabela Simoes(1) , and Joao Rodeia(1)
Lamtec, University of The Azores,
Edificios da Marinha, Apartado 64,
9760-412 Praia da Vitoria,
Physical oceanographic research in the Azores has only started 15 years ago. Nevertheless, it has been possible to evolve from the typical “research cruise approach” to a more versatile and more integrated approach, that has proofed to be more rewarding and adequate for the size and resources of the group.
The Azores Oceanographers have participated or conducted several research cruises since 1990, but anticipating the importance of correlating in situ data with satellite data has lead us to plan the last of these so that there was a coincidence of transects, moorings and satellite ground tracks (Alves et al. 2002)
On the other hand, the group has invested in data processing and merging hydrological historical data with the results from the above oceanographic cruises, creating a hydrological database for the whole Atlantic Ocean (Alves et al. 1994, Juliano 2003). Also, through the application of a novel methodology and approach, has contributed to a new vision of the currents systems in the South Atlantic Ocean, namely with the newly found St. Helena Current, the congener of the Azores Current (Juliano 2003, Juliano and Alves 2005).
Ultimately, as a result of this continued shift in methodology, the group is now using an integrated approach where field data, model output and processed altimeter data are fused to produce operational oceanography products, such as sea state charts and daily oceanic current charts.