Hydrochanges Program: latest from the Gibraltar Strait
19 December 2008, CIESM News

The two Hydrochanges moorings set at Gibraltar since January 2003 were successfully recovered for the third time on October 29 onboard the Moroccan Royal Navy's vessel RaisAl Mounastiri, commanded by Captain Bengebara. Despite a rough sea, both moorings were easily released, caught and winched up, using a powerful dinghy serviced by skilled crew and diver (photographed below).

The moorings were redeployed on December 15 with the same ship and crew. Two newly calibrated CTDs were set in place of the recovered ones. The technical preparation and work onboard were conducted in very close cooperation with officers from the Royal Navy Hydrographic and Cartographic Division (DHC).

Legend: on board the Rais Al Mounastiri, 15 December 2008.

The upstream preparation was rendered particularly easy thanks to the National Representative of Morocco for CIESM, Professor Bouchta El Moumni (University of Tangiers), who has done his utmost to organize both cruises together with Captain Khalifi, chief of the DHC. We also thank Lahoucine Bengara for his enthousiasm and precious help, especially in finding locally scrap iron for making anchors. With such an efficient team, no doubt that Hydrochanges will have a long life in Morocco!

Legend: the Strait of Gibraltar.

This third maintenance marks the 6th year of the two uninterrupted hourly hydrologic times series in the Strait of Gibraltar (see map above). The interested reader will consult with interest analyses concerning long-term changes of both the Atlantic inflow (CTD at 80 m) and the Mediterranean outflow (CTD at 270 m) already published by the Hydrochanges Program in various scientific journals, as well as the analysis proposed by Dr Claude Millot, the Hydrochanges founder.