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This SOLO_W float was launched by U.S. scientists at 9°S, 12.4°W on 8 August 2006. It has recorded a total of 201 profiles, and made its last report on 11 June 2012 from 8.9°S, 35.1°W.
After launch the South Equatorial Current carried the float westward towards the coast of South America.
There are two such currents in each of the three main oceans. They are driven by the Trade winds - the prevailing easterlies found at latitudes of about 10 to 30 degrees.
Like the tropical rain belt, the trade winds arise from the unequal heating of the earth's surface. Warm, humid air rises near the equator and flows towards the poles high above the earth. As the air cools it starts to sink. This happens at about 30-35 °. The sinking air forms the subtropical highs - two belts of very stable high-pressure systems, one in each hemisphere. The 'highs' give the subtropics their dry, sunny weather.
At the earth's surface air flows from the subtropical highs back towards the tropical lows. The Coriolis effect turns this flow to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere, creating two belts of easterly 'trade' winds, which in turn drive the equatorial currents.
Profiles of temperature (left) and salinity (right) from Argo float 1900732. The profiles show how temperature (T) and salinity (S) change with depth from the surface to 2000m. Early profiles are dark blue, the latest profiles are deep red or brown. Click on the images for larger plots. Source of plots: IFREMER/Coriolis.
Time series of temperature (left) and salinity (right) from Argo float 1900732. The sections show all the temperature (T) and salinity (S) profiles measured by the float during its life-time side by side. Each profile is represented by a very thin column where deep red is the highest values and deep blue the lowest. The colour bars on the right relate the colours to actual data values. Profile numbers are given along the top of the plot, with corresponding measurement dates along the bottom. Click on the images for larger plots. Source of plots: IFREMER/Coriolis.
Look at the float trajectory in Google Earth to see where the float has been. (If in doubt about how to reveal the float tracks, see our Google Earth screenshot for help.) Compare this to the maps of temperature and salinity for different depths available for example from Mercator ocean analyses.
The Argo Information Centre has more information about this float. You can also download the data from one of the Data Centres - just select Data > Data Downloads.
There are many different formats available. ASCII data can be viewed in spreadsheets such as Excel. The other data types may require more specialist software.