South Atlantic Argo Regional Center

Definition of the Functionalities

Required Functions:

1. Compare all of the Argo data in their region of interest with each other and with the best available recent CTD/hydrographic data. The regional centres will acquire the Argo data from one of the GDACs. To acquire the recent CTD data they may find it worthwhile to let some other organization(s) assemble the data from the various sources and then forward them all together

2. Establish a mechanism, in concert with other regional centres and DACs, for sending feedback to the PIs to alert them to apparent problems in their data. It is important that all regional centres use the same mechanism to alert PIs of problems. It is suggested that the Regional Centres contact the appropriate DAC which will then contact the PI. This serves the purpose of alerting the DAC to potential changes and also funnels queries from multiple Regional Centres to a PI.

3. Develop climatologies in concert with other regional centres. It is expected that Regional Centres will need to improve the climatologies that they are working with and make them available to the rest of Argo community.

4. Prepare and distribute Argo data products and services on a regular schedule. The endorsement of the variety of products that may be produced is something to be determined by the AST.

5. Provide documentation of their procedures. Each Regional Centre should describe their data handling and product generation procedures. These descriptions should be available through web access so that users will know what has been done.


The Regional Centres will not serve Argo data and will have to point to GDACs as the official source for ARGO.

Optional activities:

1. Provide scientific QC as a service to national programs without such capabilities. Since some countries contributing to Argo may be without sufficient resources to undertake the scientific QC, the Regional Centres are a logical place for this to occur. This means they will need to identify those profiles not having undergone scientific QC and use the same procedures for this as the PIs are using.

2. Coordinate Argo float deployment plans for the region. Providing advice/guidance on regional deployment needs. At the moment, deployment plans are handled by individual AST members in ocean areas of interest to them. Since the Regional Centres will be looking at the data collected in their region of interest, they will be in a good position to determine where deployments are needed to fill gaps or to be ready when floats reach their operating limits.

3. Develop new quality control tests for real-time or delayed mode if appropriate for the particular region. It may be expected that new procedures will be developed to check data quality and that can be implemented earlier on in the data system. Where possible, this should be implemented at the DACs so that users of the real-time data benefit. Equally, procedures developed that improve the scientific data quality assessment should be passed to PIs when possible.

4. Compare Argo data with model output and with assimilated fields to understand why specific data are rejected by assimilations (e.g. model inconsistencies, systematic data errors). Each Regional Centre will need to make contact with the appropriate modelling centre(s) and arrange for standard or non-standard products to be exchanged.


In addition to these activities, regional centres may wish to compare their products and procedures with those carried out by other centres. All potential Regional Centres actors agreed to implement at least the required functions and some of the optional ones.


Status of the regional activities

Argo national programs (and institutions) interested in forming or participating in regional data centres are listed below. The first one listed for each ocean accepted to coordinate the activities of these centres and to work with the others in developing a regional data centre.

          Atlantic Ocean - France (IFREMER/Coriolis) [60N,20S] U.S.A. (AOML) [20N, 40S]

          Pacific Ocean - Japan (JAMSTEC), U.S.A.(IPRC)

          Southern Ocean - U.K.(BODC) [40S,90S], Australia (CSIRO/BOM) [(100E,40S) , (180E,90S]

          Indian Ocean - India (INCOIS), Australia (CSIRO/BOM) ) [(100E,0) ,

          (180E,40S], U.S.A. (IPRC)


Area of interest of the institutes participaing in Regional DACs implementation