The Operational Observatory of the Catalan Sea (OOCS) is a Service maintained by the Group on Operational Marine Sciences and Sustainability (CMOS) taking advantage of the facilities available at the CEAB with regard to the capacity for observing the marine and coastal environment in the Catalan Sea and beyond, assessing the environmental and socio-economic characteristics of the region, modeling the hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes of the region with the aim to make proposals for minimizing the impact of human activities and develop protocols for conflict-solving among confronted uses of the marine and coastal resources.
One of the major components of the Service is based on the multiparametric oceanographic buoy available to OOCS. It is composed by a doughnut-type float with an emerging structure containing a full set of meteorological sensors, the central data-logging facility and the real-time communications system. In addition, the buoy has underwater instruments measuring at various depths important oceanographic and ecological magnitudes, including currents (ADCP), temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence, turbidity, photosynthetically active radiation. Data are collected continuously and averaged over 30 minute periods before they are transmitted to the base in the CEAB.
Complementary observations will be carried out periodically from the CEAB’s vessel DOLORES and other research vessels available (GARCIA DEL CID, etc.) at the point where the OOCS buoy will be moored and at a grid covering parts of the Catalan Sea. In addition to the DOLORES and GARCIA DEL CID, the OOCS has a SeaBird 19+ CTD system and Niskin bottles for water sampling. An analytical system will be set up (see attached proposal) for bottle samples in order to obtain high-quality nutrients, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll data in order to calibrate the automatic measurements.
Models of the hydrodynamic and biochemical processes of the Western Mediterranean and Catalan Sea are available at various scales. Assimilation of data obtained from the observing system as well as from remote sensing allow real-time modeling with forecasting of marine conditions extremely important for stake holders and users.