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This APEX float was launched by U.K. scientists in Drake Passage at 59.7°S, 55.4°W on 17 December 2008. It has recorded a total of 210 profiles, and made its last report on 4 February 2015 from 45.7°S, 59.8°E.
The float was launched from RSS James Clark Ross on its spring voyage across Drake Passage to take scientists and supplies to the BAS research station at Rothera in the Antarctic.
Drake Passage is a good place to study the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). Here the flow is squeezed between the continents of South America and Antarctica, narrowing from 2000 to only 800 km. Nearly 140 Sverdrup (140 million cubic metres of water per second) flows through the gap between Cape Horn and the South Shetland islands. That's about 140 times the flow of all the world's rivers.
The flow through Drake Passage links the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The ACC extends down to 4000m depth (deeper than any other surface current), so it also links the surface and deep ocean.
Understanding the flow through Drake Passage is important for understanding the global system of surface and deep ocean currents and their influence on Earth's climate system. So oceanographers from NOC join JRC's spring voyage every year, in order to measure the ACC and launch Argo floats. See Drake Passage 2008 for e-mails and photos from the research 'cruise' that launched this float.
Profiles of temperature (left) and salinity (right) from Argo float 1901227. 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 1901227. 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.