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Observational Activities - Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche-sur-Mer
Unité Mixte de Recherche 7093 – CNRS/UPMC




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Observational Activities

As a component of the Oceanographic Observatory, the laboratory devotes considerable effort, in personnel and other resources, to activities with the overall aim of monitoring the marine environments in both coastal and open waters. The observational activities are coordinated by Jean-Olivier Irisson (2013-2015) and organized in different programs focused on a variety of sites, distinct approaches, and instrumentation :

  • BIO-ARGO (PI: Fabrizio D'Ortenzio)
  • BOUSSOLE (PI: David Antoine)
  • Cap Ferrat (PI: Christophe Migon)
  • DYFAMED (PI: Laurent Coppola)
  • microPLANETE (PI: Maria-Luisa Pedrotti)
  • radeHYDRO (PI: Laure Mousseau)
  • radeZOO (PI: Lars Stemmann)

The programs form part of the National Observational Services recognized by the National Institute of Earth and Space Science (French acronym INSU) of the CNRS. The major programs are MOOSE, SOMLIT, et ARGO-FRANCE.

More information on observational activities is available through the webpage "Observation" of the OOV website.


MOOSE (Mediterranean Ocean Observing System for the Environment)

The MOOSE project is a CNRS-INSU initiative for building an efficient integrated observation network in the NW Mediterranean Sea in order to observe its long-term evolution in the context of climate change and anthropogenic forcing.

MOOSE aims to build an integrate and multi-disciplinary observing system in the NW Mediterranean Sea in relation to HYMEX, MERMEX and CHARMEX issues. Such network will combine eulerian observatories and autonomous mobile platforms to enlarge and enhance the Mediterranean observation.

SOMLIT (Observation of the Littoral Environment)

The coastal zone, the interface of the land, sea and atmosphere, is an important zone in the exchange of matter and energy and plays a key role in biogeochemical cycles. In the context of global climate change and its effects on marine systems, open questions remain with regard to many coastal systems. The general objective of the SOMLIT program is to monitor coastal ecosystems to detection of changes and diagnosis of mechanisms driving local changes.


Argo France gather all the french activities related to Argo, the internattional network of in situ temperature and salinity measurements from profiling floats, and its extension toward biogeochemical measurements. Argo France is the french contribution to the Euro-Argo European research infrastructure that organizes and federates European contribution to Argo.



The purpose of the BOUSSOLE project is to establish a time series of optical properties in oceanic waters, in support to bio-optics research, to calibration of ocean color satellite observations, and to validation of the products derived from these observations.

The bio-optics research as well as the "match-up" analyses and vicarious calibration experiments are performed based on the data set that is being built from the permanent marine optical buoy and monthly cruises.

The site where the mooring is deployed and where the cruises are carried out is located in the Ligurian sea, one of the sub-basins of the Western Mediterranean sea.(See BOUSSOLE website)

 Rade Hydro

The observational program focused on the Bay of Villefranche (SO-RADE) provides regular monitoring of physical and biological hydrological parameters (temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, etc.).

 Rade Zoo

Sampling for zooplankton has been conducted at Point B (located at the entrance of the bay between Cap Ferrat and the Cap de Nice) since 1966. It is one of the longest time series conducted in Europe and consequently represents an invaluable resource for investigating long-term changes in marine ecosystems. Through the RadeZoo program of the Oceanographic Observatory near daily sampling is conducted using various nets and samples are archived.

LOV - 30/03/15