IPMA (Instituto Português do Mar e Atmosfera, I.P.) recently led the equipment deployment campaign EMSO-PT* Leg02 under the framework of the Portuguese consortium part of EMSO ERIC responsible for the implementation of the Iberian Margin Observatory.

The equipment has been deployed on the 31st of May 2022 in Southwest Iberia, 10 nautical miles south of Cabo São Vicente, and already started acquiring data for four months, observing subsurface essential ocean variables such as temperature, conductivity (salinity), absolute pressure, dissolved oxygen, and ocean currents, and also turbidity, total chlorophyll, and passive acoustics.

The deployed equipment consisted of three independent but complementary mooring systems:

  1. EMSO Generic Instrument Module (EGIM), installed at about 200 m depth, 15 m from the bottom.
  2. Wirewalker, a wave powered vertical water column profiler, capable of high-resolution sampling of the first 150 m of the water column.
  3. ADCP, upward facing, recording ocean currents direction and speed of the first 150 m of the water column.


As all the equipment is autonomous (i.e. battery powered) and not cabled, the data will only be accessible after the recovery (delayed mode), which creates a great expectation but poses a particular challenge.

One of the aims of the campaign is also to assess the equipment readiness level.

Indeed, since the EGIM is the latest acquisition by EMSO-PT (IPMA), it is still in the first pilot stage, being this campaign the second trial deployment at sea. The objective of its deployment is to evaluate the operational capabilities and management practices of the device such as data quality and assurance.

On the other hand, the Wirewalker and ADCP are in the last pilot stage having been previously deployed by CCMAR (Centro de Ciências do Mar do Algarve) on 24th May 2021 to 09th October 2021. Although some constraints were found, both mooring systems are considered to be operational, and ready to demonstrate their system-wide capabilities and significance for the Iberian Margin Observatory.

The recovery campaign is planned to happen in late September or early October 2022. With the equipment on board, the team will be able then to assess the data, improve the sampling strategy, and hopefully implement a more regular observational plan with reduced data gaps in long-term series.



Credits: Instituto Português do Mar e Atmosfera, I.P. (IPMA)

* Carapuço MM, Silveira TM, Stroynowski Z and Miranda JM (2022), “Portuguese European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory Initiative”. Frontiers in Marine Science, 01 March 2022, Sec. Ocean Observation. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2022.849150

Mafalda Carapuço, T. Silveira, Z. Stroynowski, C. Sousa, M. Miranda: “Fostering ocean observation in Portugal: the EMSO-PT Initiative”