In 1999, the international program OceanSITES was initiated as a DBCP action group to coordinate a global system of long-term, deepwater reference stations measuring dozens of variables and monitoring the full depth of the ocean from air-sea interactions down to 5,000 meters. OceanSITES moorings are an integral part of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). They complement satellite imagery and ARGO float data by adding the dimensions of time and depth. The growing network now consists of about 30 surface and 30 subsurface arrays.

>> Link to OceanSITES homepage

Contributing to OceanSITES since 2008, EuroSITES forms an integrated European network of nine deep-ocean (greater than 1000m depth). It is coordinated by the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK and involves 13 Partners across Europe and the Cape Verde Islands. The activities are continued within the FP7 FIXO3 project with the aims to sustain the European Contribution to OceanSITES

>> see the  EuroSITES website


At the same time in 1998, a specific DBCP action group has been setup for Tropical Moored Buoy Implementation Panel including all ATLAS moorings within TAO, TRITON, PIRATA and RAMA arrays. In particular, the PIRATA (Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic) project aims to set up a network of deep ocean moored buoys in the tropical Atlantic, developed through a multinational partnership between France, Brazil, and USA and maintained to provide unique data from oceanic and meteorological observations useful for oceanography and climate research and prediction. PIRATA becomes the French contribution to OceanSITES.

>>  link to PIRATA-France webpage 




While a great part of the moored buoys network have been operated for a long time, access to data is not easy as they are spread in the different centers contributing to the project. One important task of the project is to improve data access throught GDACS and also to homogeneize QC procedures.


France contributes to OceanSITES in two domains through :

  1. two institutes, the CNRS and LOV laboratory, which contributes to the network by maintaining the DYFAMED observatory
  2. setting up one of the two GDACS (Global Data Centre) at CORIOLIS, together with NDBC in USA. CORIOLIS is coordinating the OceanSITES data management working group who has defined the data flow within the OceanSITES projects and defined a common data format. Soon the GDAC will provide integrated access to OceanSITES data through an FTP site


For the PIRATA network : CORIOLIS also contributes through two institutes, IRD and Meteo-France which ensure to maintain a network of 6 moorings of the Pirata array. These data are transmitted by NDBC/USA on GTS and then provided to Coriolis data center through the OceanSites international GDAC.






Figure : The latest 30 days of data acquired by the OceanSITES network , complemented by fixed station provided by EuroGOOS members within MyOcean projects. They are available from the Coriolis Argo GDAC ( Global DAta Center) and MyOcean in situ TAC.


Figure : OceanSITES global network Â©OceanSITES

Figure : The PIRATA backbone of ATLAS buoys (red squares), North-east Extension (blue stars), Southwest Extension (green circles), Southeast Extension pilot project (yellow triangle), and island-based observation sites (green crosses). Buoys with barometers and the ability to estimate net heat flux are indicated with black circles.  IRD 2008