W1-M3A

W1-M3A

A single multidisciplinary observatory mooring located in the Ligurian Sea with real-time and delayed mode capability. The W1-M3A observing system is composed by a large spare buoy and a sub-surface mooring periodically deployed close to the main buoy depending on specific research needs. The W1-M3A large spar buoy specifically designed for air-sea interaction studies and the collection of meteorological data even in rough sea. Stability is the basic feature of this type of buoy with respect to the other more classical approach based on discus-shaped buoys. The buoy was specifically designed as a stable measuring platform since its total mass, the unity buoyancy at the sea level, and presence of a damping disk allow for negligible sensitivity of sea heave and height.

http://www.fixo3.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/W1-M3A-observatory-scheme-complete1.png

Infrastructure Location

Study Area

Location North-Western Mediterranean Sea (Ligurian Sea)
Distance from Land 80 km
Max Depth 1200 m
Oceanographic features of area The Ligurian Sea is the more inland sea of the Mediterranean: these orographic constraints and the thermal contrast between land and sea give rise to specific local effects that influence the general circulation of both atmosphere and ocean.
The main hydrodynamics characteristics is a pronounced basin-wide cyclonic circulation involving both the superficial MAW (Modified Atlantic Water) and the lower LIW (Levantine Intermediate Water) layer which is fed by two main currents flowing along the Corsican coast towards North.
Although this structure is almost permanent, it shows an important seasonal and interannual variability due to the variability of the Tyrrhenian current flowing through the Corsica channel.
More specifically, the waters flowing northwards on both sides of Corsica, the Western Corsica Current (WCC) and the Tyrrhenian Current (TC), join along the eastern periphery of the basin and form the Ligurian-Provencal Current (LPC), which flows westward along the coast of Provence, completing the cyclonic loop.
The cyclonic circulation conditions the hydrological structure of the basin, giving rise to three main distinct zones: the coastal-peripheral, the frontal and the central zones. The frontal zone divides the warmer and lighter coastal waters from the colder and denser waters of the central zone. Both the TC and the WCC undergo seasonal changes. Particularly, the TC is more energetic in winter than in summer when it can even reverse its direction.
Although the WCC intensifies in spring and weakens in late summer/autumn, this variation in the velocity is ascribable to a lateral displacement of the frontal zone which compresses the current against the island’s continental shelf, and the associated transport seems to be constant all year round. Being the sum of the above currents, the LPC also shows a seasonal variability modulated by the TC changes. As a result of the reduction of flow through the Corsica Channel, the LPC is almost exclusively composed of water coming from the western side of Corsica in summer.
Relevant publications isi journals S. Sparnocchia, M.E. Schiano, P. Picco, R. Bozzano, A. Cappelletti, “The anomalous warming of summer 2003 in the surface layer of the Central Ligurian Sea (Western Mediterranean),” Annales Geophysicae, Vol. 24(2), pp. 443-452, 2006, ISSN 09927689, doi: 10.5194/angeo-24-443-2006.
K. Nittis, C. Tziavos, R. Bozzano, V. Cardin, Y. Thanos, G. Petihakis, M.E. Schiano, F. Zanon, “The M3A multi-sensor buoy network of the Mediterranean Sea,“ Ocean Science, Vol. 2, 229-243, 2007, ISSN 18120784, doi: 10.5194/os-3-229-2007.
P. Picco , R. Bozzano, M. E. Schiano, A. Bordone, M. Borghini, G. Di Nallo, S. Pensieri, A. Schirone, S. Sparnocchia, “Marine observing systems from fixed platform in the Ligurian Sea”, Bollettino di Geofisica Teorica ed Applicata, Trieste, Settembre 2007, Vol. 48, n.3, pp. 227-239, ISSN 00066729.
A.M. Sempreviva, M.E. Schiano, S. Pensieri, R. Bozzano, M. Borghini, F. Grasso, A. Semedo, L.L. Soerensen, J. Teixeira, C. Transerici, R. Tome, “Observed development of the vertical structure of the marine boundary layer during the LASIE experiment in the Ligurian Sea,” Annales Geophysicae, 28, 17–25, 2010, ISSN 09927689, doi: 10.5194/angeo-28-172010.
S. Pensieri, R. Bozzano, M.E. Schiano, “Comparison between QuikSCAT and buoy wind data in the Ligurian Sea,” Journal of Marine Systems, Vol. 81, 2010, pp. 286–296, ISSN 09247963, doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2010.01.004.
P. Picco, A. Cappelletti, S. Sparnocchia, M.E. Schiano, S. Pensieri, and R. Bozzano, “Upper layer current variability in the Central Ligurian Sea,” Ocean Sci., 6, pp. 825-836, ISSN 18120784, doi:10.5194/os-6-825-2010, 2010.
A. Balzarini, G. Pirovano, G.M. Riva, A. Toppetti, R. Bozzano, S. Pensieri, E. Canepa, “WRF Evaluation exercise using open sea in situ measurements, International Journal of Environment and Pollution, Vol. 50, Nos. 1/2/3/4, pp. 152-163, 2012, ISSN 09574352, doi: 10.1504/ijep.2012.051189.
R. Bozzano, E. Fanelli, S. Pensieri, P. Picco, and M.E. Schiano, "Temporal variations of zooplankton biomass in the Ligurian Sea inferred from long time series of ADCP data," Ocean Science, 2014, in press.
Relevant publications proceedings published in the context of conference S. Pensieri, M.E.Schiano, P. Picco, E. Canepa, R. Bozzano, A. Trucco, "The contribution of the Ligurian sea off-shore observatory to the calibration and validation of remote sensed data,” Proceedings of the ESA, SOLAS & EGU Joint Conference "Earth Observation for Ocean–Atmosphere Interactions Science", 29 November – 2 December 2011, Frascati, Italy, ISBN 978-92-9092-267-4, ISSN 1609-042X.
P. Kishcha, B. Starobinets, R. Bozzano, S. Pensieri, E. Canepa, S. Nickovic, A. di Sarra, R. Udisti, S. Becagli, P. Alpert, "Sea-salt aerosol forecasts compared with wave and sea-salt measurements in the open Mediterranean sea,” Proceedings of the ESA, SOLAS & EGU Joint Conference "Earth Observation for Ocean–Atmosphere Interactions Science", 29 November – 2 December 2011, Frascati, Italy, ISBN 978-92-9092-267-4, ISSN 1609-042X.
G.M.R. Manzella, V. Cardin, F. Reseghetti, M. Bensi, R. Bozzano, “The Mediterranean Ship-of-Opportunity and Buoy-Based Observation System,” I quaderni di ARPA, Vol. “Operational oceanography in Italy toward a sustainable management of the sea”, Arpa Emilia Romagna, pp. 93-98, 2012, ISBN 978-88-87854-29-9.
M. Ravaioli, M. Pastore, A. Guarnieri, V. Cardin, M. Bensi, G. Bortoluzzi, R. Bozzano, P. Focaccia, S. Pensieri, N. Pinardi, P. Picco, A. Russo, G. Stanghellini, “Using data from oceanographic buoys in hydrodynamic forecasting models,” I quaderni di ARPA, Vol. “Operational oceanography in Italy toward a sustainable management of the sea”, Arpa Emilia Romagna, pp. 99-111, 2012, ISBN 978-88-87854-29-9.
Sara Pensieri, Roberto Bozzano, M.Elisabetta Schiano, Elisa Canepa, Paola Picco, Laura Pensieri, "The W1-M3A Multidisciplinary Off-shore Observing System", OCEANS Bergen, 2013 MTS/IEEE, pp.1,9, 10-14 June 2013 doi: 10.1109/OCEANS-Bergen.2013.6607993, ISBN 978-1-4799-0000-8
Elisabetta Schiano, Paola Picco, Sara Pensieri, Roberto Bozzano, "Analysis of long term time series of ADCP backscatter data in the Ligurian Sea to investigate the zooplankton variability", OCEANS - Bergen, 2013 MTS/IEEE pp.1,7, 10-14 June 2013 doi: 10.1109/OCEANS-Bergen.2013.6608040, ISBN 978-1-4799-0000-8.
Roberto Bozzano, Sara Pensieri, Laura Pensieri, Vanessa Cardin, Fabio Brunetti, Manuel Bensi, George Petihakis, Tatiana Margo Tsagaraki, Manolis Ntoumas, Dimitris Podaras, Leonidas Perivoliotis "The M3A Network of Open Ocean Observatories in the Mediterranean Sea" OCEANS - Bergen, 2013 MTS/IEEE, pp.1,10, 10-14 June 2013 doi: 10.1109/OCEANS-Bergen.2013.6607996, ISBN 978-1-4799-0000-8.

Scientific Researchers

Name Email
Roberto Bozzano <Please login to view>
Sara Pensieri <Please login to view>
Stefania Sparnocchia <Please login to view>

Technicians

Name Email
Raimondo Bacino <Please login to view>

Status / Maintenance

System Status Operational Planned Frequency 4 month(s)
Platform Required Deep Sea Research Vessel, Rigid Inflatable Boat People Involved 4
Duration of Operations 7 day(s) Cleaning Yes
Replacments Yes Download Data Yes

Data Information

Final data output format ASCII Others Data Quality Check Yes
Type of quality check on real-time/near-real time data Manual Real Time – Data availability target 6 hours
Type of Quality check on delayed mode data Manual Delayed Mode – Data availability target 6 months
Own data management Yes Type of use of data Research
Data Management Link www.odas.ge.issia.cnr.it
GEOSS URN
GEOSS Link

TNA

The W1-M3A observatory is one of the most important infrastructure of the National Research Council and it is part of the observing network of the National Operational Oceanography Group (GNOO) of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). At the international level, the observatory is part of the global alliance OceanSITES and it was one of the open-ocean observatories of the EuroSITES European project.
The W1-M3A observatory operates in the Ligurian basin at the centre of the Gulf of Genoa, 80 Km far from the coast on a 1200 m deep seabed. It is a combination of a large spar buoy (originally named “ODAS Italia 1”) and a sub-surface mooring deployed close-by.
The observatory allows the monitoring of the conditions and the sea state of the Ligurian basin by continuously acquiring meteorological, physical, bio-geochemical and wave measurements.
Over the years, this infrastructure demonstrated its capability for a long term monitoring of the ecosystem from the upper atmosphere to the ocean interface and down to the ocean interior. Indeed, the observing system payload has been recently updated in order to provide real time biogeochemical data of the euphotic zone (0-100 m) and physical parameters of the upper thermocline (0-500 m) down to the sea bottom.
Near surface atmospheric (meteorological) parameters are monitored by a set of sensors (precision spectral pyranometer, precision infrared radiometer, sonic anemometer, barometer, thermo-hygrometer, compact meteorological station) installed on the “ODAS Italia 1” surface buoy.
In the upper ocean, temperature, salinity, oxygen, fluorescence, turbidity, nutrient content, and carbon dioxide are measured.
In the dark region, measurements are collected by sensors deployed on the sub-surface mooring deployed close to the surface buoy. The mooring line is equipped with several conductivity-temperature-pressure sensors at different depths. Sensors on the mooring line operate in an autonomous way and their measurements are periodically available after the recovery and the maintenance operations whereas the deepest sensor is acoustically linked to the surface buoy so that data from this sensor are available in near real time in the same way as the measurements collected by sensors on the buoy.

Avaliable for TNA Yes
Prefered time period for TNA Access to the infrastructure is only conditioned by the weather state.
No other limits exist.
TNA Support offered Hosting:
The installation is available for TransNational Access to FixO3 users for specific experiments, tests of sensors and in-situ validation.
The W1-M3A observatory can host additional instrumentation for atmospheric and air-sea interface. New instrumentation can be integrated (permanently or temporary) into the existing acquisition and control system making the new measurements available in near real time. The setup and deployment of even high-cost relatively large and power consuming is possible.
The availability of a relatively cheap and stable satellite data connection offers the chance to collect data and/or to control the instrument in near real time.
Mooring can host autonomous systems (although real-time communication with surface buoy has been already successfully tested in the last years).
Clamp systems and other electrical or mechanical adapters can be manufactured locally upon specification.
A support team formed by one technician and two scientists will assist the user group in logistical, technological and scientific issues for the observatory access, as well as they will support and services during the integration phase and the installing/uninstalling operations.
The hosting is generally offered for long-time periods (multiples of months), taking into account the schedule of the maintenance operations.
Access to observatory will be provided during the regular maintenance visits (3-6 per year) carried out onboard on-purpose rented boats or on the CNR R/V Urania or R/V Dallaporta.
The data might be immediately available to the user in case of protracted installation of user’s instrumentation connected to the onboard acquisition system or at the end of the experiment/installation after the recovery of the instrumentation.
Services Available The W1M3A system continuously collects meteorological and near surface (from 0 down to 40 m water depth) oceanographic measurements in near real time integrated over an hourly basis. Data received ashore are quality checked (ref. MERSEA data quality control procedures) and made available to the scientific community as well as public users on a graphical form on the observatory web site. Several users have been already accessed the services provided by the W1M3A observatory for their researches in the field of air-sea interaction (i.e., investigation of the atmospheric boundary layer, model evaluation, air pollution transfer model, etc.) and physical oceanography (i.e., water mass transport, biomass migration, wind-wave coupling, etc.).
Potential Additional Uses
Data Ports Instruments having analogue (voltage), serial (RS232, RS485), and Ethernet outputs can be integrated into the on board acquisition system.
Availability of External Power A limited amount of external power is available for new instruments installation.
Instrument installation methodology

Several options are available:

1. Instruments to be installed in air have to be clamped to supports/masts that can be attached to the upper trellis of the buoy.

2. Instruments can be also installed in the protected small laboratory on the top of the buoy.

3. Instruments can be deployed at sea along the buoy body through clamps.

4 Instruments can be deployed on the deep subsurface mooring along the cable.

Data History

The W1-M3A observing system is operational since 2009.

Instrument installation methodology -
Observatory maintenance estimated or planned schedules One cruise is planned yearly.
Specific maintenance missions are performed some times during the year on the basis of particular needs (installation, recovery of instrumentation, data recovery, etc.).
Data policy and access Graphical presentation of the data are freely available through the web site.
Data in MEDATLAS format are usually available to external data centers.
Data can be available through the offer of a scientific collaboration by the user finalized to joint publications.
Additional comments
Modality of access In-Person Partially Remote Remote

Hardware Services

Type Model Use Problems Solution adopted
Buoy CNR ODAS Italia 1 Meteorological measurements
Near surface ocean physical measurements
Biofouling of the deployed instruments.
Ship for periodic maintenance.
Divers for deploying and recovering instruments at sea.
Regular maintenance and cleaning of out-of-water electronic systems and sensors. Mechanical wipers for optical sensors.

Software Services

Sensor type/model Software for the pre-processing Software for the post post-processing Software for the production of graphical output
Camera / Axis M11 LabVIEW Image viewer Image viewer
Pro-Oceanus PSI-CO2 PRO LabVIEW
TXF-11 termininal
LabVIEW,
Matlab,
OceanDataView,
LabVIEW,
Matlab,
OceanDataView,
SigmaPlot
Dissolved oxygen sensor LabVIEW
Sea-Bird SeaTerm V2
LabVIEW,
Matlab,
OceanDataView,
SBE Data Processing
LabVIEW,
Matlab,
OceanDataView,
SigmaPlot
Fluorescence and turbidity sensor LabVIEW
WetLabs EcoVIEW
LabVIEW,
Matlab,
OceanDataView,
SBE Data Processing
LabVIEW,
Matlab,
OceanDataView,
SigmaPlot
Ocean package (physical) LabVIEW
Sea-Bird SeaTerm V2
LabVIEW,
Matlab,
OceanDataView,
SBE Data Processing
LabVIEW,
Matlab,
OceanDataView,
SigmaPlot
Meteorological package LabVIEW LabVIEW,
Matlab
LabVIEW,
Matlab,
SigmaPlot

Sensors

Deployed Planned 01/01/2014
Instrument/Sensor Type Fluorescence and turbidity sensor Parameter(s) CPHL, TURB
Platform Buoy Manufacturer WETLabs
Instrument/Sensor documentation (URL) http://www.wetlabs.com/eco-flntu
Sensor Type / Model ECO-FLNTUS Power Supply Internal battery powered
Approximate Depth / Height 36 Sampling interval 10800 second(s)
Calibration Samples Available No Frequency of Calibration Samples n/a
Intercalibration Available No Intercalibration Platform n/a
Intercalibration Frequency
Problems Biofouling over the optical window.
Solution Adopted Mechanical wiper over the optical window
Datasheet URL http://www.wetlabs.com/sites/default/files/documents/ECO-FLNTU-21Sep2010.pdf
Comments

Deployed Planned 01/09/2014
Instrument/Sensor Type Dissolved oxygen sensor Parameter(s) DOXY
Platform Buoy Manufacturer Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc.
Instrument/Sensor documentation (URL) http://www.seabird.com
Sensor Type / Model SBE43 Power Supply Internal battery powered
Approximate Depth / Height 36 Sampling interval 10800 second(s)
Calibration Samples Available No Frequency of Calibration Samples n/a
Intercalibration Available No Intercalibration Platform n/a
Intercalibration Frequency
Problems Biofouling in the measurement duct.
Solution Adopted Antifouling tablets and cleaning during the periodical maintenance.
Datasheet URL http://www.seabird.com/products/spec_sheets/43data.htm
Comments

Deployed Planned 01/09/2014
Instrument/Sensor Type Pro-Oceanus PSI-CO2 PRO Parameter(s) Dissolved Gases
Platform Buoy Manufacturer Pro-Oceanus Systems Inc
Instrument/Sensor documentation (URL) http://www.pro-oceanus.com/co2-pro.php
Sensor Type / Model CO2-PRO Power Supply +24Vdc
Approximate Depth / Height 6 Sampling interval 10800 second(s)
Calibration Samples Available No Frequency of Calibration Samples n/a
Intercalibration Available No Intercalibration Platform n/a
Intercalibration Frequency
Problems Biofouling in the measurement duct.
Solution Adopted Antifouling tablets and cleaning during the periodical maintenance.
Datasheet URL http://www.pro-oceanus.com/images/co2-pro.pdf
Comments

Deployed 01/01/2009 Planned
Instrument/Sensor Type Camera / Axis M11 Parameter(s) Images
Platform Buoy Manufacturer Axis Communications AB.
Instrument/Sensor documentation (URL) http://www.axis.com/en/products/m11_series/index.h tm
Sensor Type / Model Axi M11 Power Supply +24Vdc
Approximate Depth / Height 10 Sampling interval 3600 second(s)
Calibration Samples Available No Frequency of Calibration Samples n/a
Intercalibration Available No Intercalibration Platform n/a
Intercalibration Frequency
Problems Sea spray over the lens.
Solution Adopted Cleaning.
Datasheet URL http://www.axis.com/en/files/datasheet/ds_m11_42497_en_1209_lo.pdf
Comments

Deployed 01/01/2009 Planned
Instrument/Sensor Type Meteorological package Parameter(s) Air Temperature, ATMP, Radiance, RELH, Wind Speed, Wind Direction
Platform Buoy Manufacturer Vaisala Oyj
Instrument/Sensor documentation (URL) http://www.vaisala.com
Sensor Type / Model WXT520 Power Supply +24V dc
Approximate Depth / Height 12 Sampling interval 10800 second(s)
Calibration Samples Available No Frequency of Calibration Samples n/a
Intercalibration Available Yes Intercalibration Platform Manual
Intercalibration Frequency 1 year
Problems Damage due to vandalism.
Meteorological events.
Solution Adopted -
Datasheet URL http://www.vaisala.com/en/products/multiweathersensors/Pages/WXT520.aspx
Comments

Deployed 01/01/2009 Planned
Instrument/Sensor Type Ocean package (physical) Parameter(s) COND, PRES, TEMP
Platform Buoy Manufacturer Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc.
Instrument/Sensor documentation (URL) http://www.seabird.com
Sensor Type / Model SBE 37-SM, SBE 56 Power Supply Internal battery powered
Approximate Depth / Height 0, 6, 12, 20, 28, 36 Sampling interval 10800 second(s)
Calibration Samples Available No Frequency of Calibration Samples n/a
Intercalibration Available Yes Intercalibration Platform SBE 37-sm
Intercalibration Frequency 1 year
Problems Biofouling in the measurement duct.
Solution Adopted Antifouling tablets and cleaning during the periodical maintenance.
Datasheet URL http://www.seabird.com/products/spec_sheets/37smpdata.htm
Comments