Collaboration between CSIRO (Australia), CSIR-NIO and ESSO-INCOIS (India) and IOC (UNESCO) to pilot bio-optical floats as part of Indian Ocean GOOS / SIBER


The Indian Ocean region is focal for many of the most severe challenges facing human society. Food security, climate change, human health, population growth and industrial development are all interconnected and rely upon a healthy marine environment. This project will target specific uncertainties in the modes of evolution of Indian Ocean biogeochemical conditions of immediate concern to India and Australia, as an initial stepping stone towards an Indian Ocean biogeochemical observing network.


The overall objective is to enable cost-effective observations of large scale changes in the biogeochemistry and pelagic ecology of the Indian Ocean.  Specific Aims include:

  • Coordinate INCOIS and CSIRO protocol development for profiling float mission tracking, calibration and validation procedures, data quality control and archiving for new biogeochemical and bio-optical sensors, and to contribute to international efforts to advance a “Bio-Argo” program for the global ocean.
  • To carry out coordinated pilot deployments, as ancillary activities on planned oceanographic research voyages. Potential targets include i) quantifying  links between low oxygen waters, surface biomass distributions, and biological carbon cycling in the Bay of Bengal; and ii) quantifying links between Leeuwin current, eddy transports and the supply of nutrients to fuel biomass production in shelf edge waters along Western Australia.
  • To assess feasibility for implementation of an embedded network of biogeochemical profiling floats within the Indian Ocean Observing System.