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Tracking WaveGliders

Mar 29, 2017
A WaveGlider is deployed off the research vessel Maria S. Merian.
A WaveGlider is deployed off the research vessel Maria S. Merian. Photo: Car­los­Bar­re­ra/​PLO­CAN

They are on the go and measure for weeks or even months: wave gliders are measurement plattforms powered by waves. During the scientific cruise MSM61 two vehicles of MARUM and GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Marine Sciences Kiel were deployed in sea area of the Cape Verde islands to collect data around the Senghor Seamount, an underwater mountain. The exact position of the vehicles and the data they collect are transmitted to a navigator website.

With the use of the WaveGliders, scientists want to better understand the ecosystem in the area of the Senghor Seamount. The gliders are equipped with sensors such as weather stations or measuring instruments for water speed and water direction. They detect, for example, conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH or chlorophyll content. While the GEOMAR WaveGlider has already been recovered during the MSM61 cruise, the MARUM WaveGlider is now – after 2500 km and a short stop to clean the vehicle from barnacles by divers from the Cape Verde Institute INDP – on its 1400 km long journey back to Gran Canary.

The glider remain on its mission until the end of April to be recovered by a team of the Canary Institute PLOCAN and MARUM. Afterwards the collected data will be processed and evaluated.


WaveGlider's current position


Taucher reinigen Gleiter
A silent companion observes how the diver cleans the glider. Photo: Dario Évora – Instituto Nacional de Desenvolvimento das Pescas (INDP), Mindelo/Cape Verde (2017)