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European Station for Time series in the ocean (ESTOC)

Latitude and Longitude:29.167N, -15.50W
Depth: 3670m
Oceanographic Region: Northeast Atlantic, Subtropical gyre


In July 2010 the ESTOC surface buoy was catastrophically damaged, and is currently not transmitting any data. The water column sensors are still recording data but the state of the atmospheric sensors is currently unknown. A service to the observatory site is planned in November 2010.


History of the Site:

ESTOC was initiated in 1994 about 100 km north of the Canary islands and in 3618 m water depth. Its intention is to create a long time series on an inter- and multidisciplinary basis in order to monitor and help understanding oceanic long-term variability in the North atlantic's subtropical gyre in conjunction with the Bermuda station BATS. It is an open ocean site in the sense that it is located well outside the highly variable eastern boundary with its strong coastal upwelling regime (although interaction with this regime exists), is deep enough to encompass the eastern subtropical North Atlantic's major water masses including the North Atlantic Deep Water (however not the AABW), is windward of the Canary Islands to avoid wake effects of both the major currents and winds (Canary Current and Northeast Trade), and is far enough from coasts and islands (the Selvages 100 km northwards are very small and flat) to serve as reference for satellite images and altimetry. Thus, it is expected that long-term observations at ESTOC represent open-ocean eastern subtropical North Atlantic conditions and variability. Finally, ESTOC is easy to reach by and be serviced with small research vessels.

Parameters measured:

Atmospheric: NB. all data are transmitted in near real-time.

Parameter Depth (m) Sensor Frequency

Wind (speed and direction) surface buoy Wind- RM Young Mod. 05103-MA hourly
PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation surface buoy PAR. Apogee Sensors Mod. SQ- 110 hourly
Air Temperature and Humidity surface buoy Air Temp and R. Humidity. Vaisala, Mod. HMP 155 hourly
Atmospheric pressure surface buoy Atmosph. Pressure Vaisala, Mod. PTB 110 hourly
Wind, Air temperature, humidity and rain surface buoy Meteo- station Vaisala WXT 520 hourly


NB. Only ocean data from 1.5 m depth are transmitted in near real-time.

Parameter Depth (m) Sensor Frequency
Temperature 1.5, 40, 60, 80, 100, 160 m

SBE microcat

(Mod SBE-3S; Desin Instrum. PT- 100)

10 mins and hourly
Salinity 1.5, 40, 60, 80, 100, 160 m

SBE microcat

(Mod. SBE- 4M.)

10 mins and hourly
Nitrate & Nitrite 150 m NAS. Envirotech LLC Mod. NAS-3-X 4 / day
Chlorophyll 1.5, 100 m Turner Mod. Cyclops 2100-C; WETlab.Mod. FLNTUSB hourly
Dissolved Oxygen 1.5 m AADI Optode 3835 hourly
Currents (speed and direction) 1.5 m HS- Engineers Mod. ISM- 2001 hourly
CO2 (IR absorbance after equilibration) 1.5 m Pro-Oceanus Mod. CO2-Pro 2 / day
pH 1.5 m Sindemar. Mod. SW-03 2 / day
Turbidimeter 1.5 m Turner Mod. Cyclops 2100- T hourly
Hydrocarbon (detection) 1.5 m Mod. OPW 30-3207-15 hourly

Enhancement/Modifications planned within EuroSITES:

Continuation: Real-time and delayed-mode data of Chlorophyll, nutrients and water column physics

Enhancement achieved during EuroSITES: pCO2, O2. Trialing of near real-time pH sensor (ULPGC)



Principal Investigators: Octavio Llinas Gonzalez (ICCM), Andres Cianca (ICCM), Melchor González Dávila (ULPGC), Magdalena Santana-Casiano (ULPGC)

Links to related website(s):
The ICCM ESTOC pages
A pdf in Spanish and English summarising the range of observations made at ESTOC 1994 to 2009
A pdf in Spanish and English of a EuroSITES information sheet


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EuroSITES is a FP7 Collaborative Project coordinated by the
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK

Call FP7-ENV-2007-1, grant agreement N° 202955
Sub-Activity 6.4.1. Earth Observation; Monitoring the ocean interior, seafloor, and subseafloor

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