French participation to Argo

France is very active in all Argo aspects: data centre, profiler development , float deployment scientific analysis and operational oceanography. French contribution is coordination by the multi-institutes program Coriolis (CNES, CNRS, Ifremer, IPEV, IRD, Météo-France, SHOM)

Data Centre : Coriolis data centre, located in Ifremer/Brest, collect and process more that 400 floats (French European, others). It's also one of the two global centres for Argo For More information

Float development: PROVOR floats have been designed in partnership between Ifremer and Kannad. For More information

Float deployment: Float deployment is an heavy task. French floats have first been deployed in North Atlantic an then in South and Tropical Atlantic, Austral, Indian and Pacific oceans. Collaborations with foreign laboratories on French vessels also exist. For more information

Operational oceanography: France is deeply involved in operational oceanography through Mercator-Ocean (CNES, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, Météo-France, SHOM) and its European extension within GMES. Multiple applications exists : environment monitoring and ocean climate , security and maritime transport, monitoring and forecast of oil spill , contribute to fishery management, offshore applications … Argo data are systematically used by Mercator- Ocean jointly with satellite data to describe and forecast in real time the ocean status. They have a major impact of the quality of the analysis and forecast of the status of the ocean. WWW Mercator.

Scientific Analysis

Most of the French research laboratories involved in oceanography participate to Argo program. Through mission group Mercator/Coriolis they contribute to the float deployment in scientific campaigns and perform innovative studies using Argo data :



    Argo floats have been deployed by IRD in Guinea Gulf within EGEE framework managed by IRD( oceanographic part of the international project AMMA. This project aims at improving the knowledge and comprehension of West Africa Monsoon and its variability. Within EGGE, 34 PROVOR profilers have been deployed from 2002 and 2004. These deployments have allowed Gulf of Guinea coverage that have never been achieved before ; They will allow to estimate the evolution of heat content within the mix layer in order to estimate statistics about heat content in this layer and validate regional models ad study the impact of low salinity in the dynamic of the mix layer in the Gulf of Guinea. For more information.



    Study the Subpolar Mode Water in North Atlantic. Combining OVIDE cruises data (Greenland-Portugal) to Argo data and historical data for the period 1990-2006, scientists from the Laboratoire de Physique des Océans at Ifremer /Brest have estimated the variability of the Subpolar Mode Water observed between 200 and 500m depth on the Reykjanes Ridge. For more information



    ARGO network is the main input to the ARIVO project (Analyse Reconstruction et indicateurs de la variabilité Océanique) from Laboratoire de Physique des Océans at IFREMER/ Brest which try to reconstruct and analyse the temperature, salinity and current fields variability at seasonal and inter-annual scales. It's already possible to monitor the thermal and salinity content of the past 4 years for the global ocean and first current fields derived from Argo show good agreement with altimetry and numerical simulations. For more information



    In the West Equatorial Pacific, scientists from IRD have improve El Niño phenomenon understanding , partially thanks to Argo data, highlighting a link between wind burst and salinity structure at surface and sub-surface. During the Frontalis-3 cruise, 20 Provor floats were deployed in April-May 2005. These deployment aims at providing inputs to two complementary scientific issues: study the frontal zone of the « warm pool » in equatorial south west Pacific and study the decadal variability of the thermohaline variability along 165°E, at 20°S of equator . For more information



    GOOD HOPE project, coordinated by the Laboratoire de Physique des Océans à Brest, aims at quantifying water exchanges (volume et properties) between Austral, Indian and Atlantic oceans, and to understand the. More than 50 floats have been deployed in this area and have allowed interesting progress in this area. For more information.



    The Austral ocean, ARGO data have allowed scientists from Legos at Toulouse to progress in the comprehension of certain water masses behaviour in this region were their formation is very sensitive to climate variation and constitute a privileged CO2 tank and transport of antropic CO2. Argo data in Austral Ocean have become the first source in the area. For more information



    Argo data are also used for mean sea level variation studies jointly with tide gages and altimetry data by scientists at LEGOS and CLS. Argo data provide for the first time an accurate measurement of ocean thermal dilatation which explains half of the present sea level. For more information and more