2nd TOSCA experiment in the Trieste test site (April 2012) – Study of surface currents in the Gulf of Trieste by means of drifters, HF coastal radars and models

05/05/2012 Highlights News

2nd Expe Trieste_N°21

The 2nd TOSCA experimental survey took place in the Gulf of Trieste between the 23rd and 27th of April. In this framework, 40 drifters were released to monitor for the first time the surface circulation and to study the dispersion in this area. The network of HF radars installed in the first phase of the project and the results from a numerical model covering the northern Adriatic Sea complemented those measurements.

"The surface water circulation in the Gulf of Trieste is not very well known", explains Pierre Marie Poulain, head of the Remote Sensing Group at OGS. "We know that usually it proceeds counterclockwise, with the current entering from the South, in front of Pirano and exiting in front of Grado. There are still a lot of aspects to understand, especially concerning how the current is influenced by the wind forcing".

The majority of the drifters used during the experiment had a GPS and measured also the temperature of the sea. Some drifters were also equipped with a particular sensor that measured the current direction and intensity along the entire water column. In the meantime, a marine buoy was measuring wave height, their direction and their frequency while the data from the HF radars provided maps of surface circulation. Additionally,  those oceanographic measurements were superimposed on a numerical circulation model of marine currents, which takes into account the influence of weather forecast.

A second campaign in Trieste test site is planned for October 2012. A dedicated webpage was created to follow the campaign at: http://nettuno.inogs.it/sire/tosca/.


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