Credit: Center for Environmental Visualization, University of Washington

The Global Irminger Sea Array in the North Atlantic is located in a region with high wind and large surface waves, strong atmosphere-ocean exchanges of energy and gases, carbon dioxide sequestration, high biological productivity, and an important fishery. It is one of the few places on Earth with deep-water formation that feeds the large-scale thermohaline circulation.

Moorings in the Irminger Sea Array support sensors for measurement of air-sea fluxes of heat, moisture and momentum, and physical, biological and chemical properties throughout the water column.

The Irminger Sea Array consists of a triangular set of moorings (white circles), with the sides of the triangle having a length roughly 10 times the water depth to capture mesoscale variability in each region. The global array consists of a combination of three mooring types: the paired Global Surface (2) and subsurface Global Profiler (1) Moorings are at one corner of the triangle, with the other two corners occupied by Flanking Subsurface Moorings (3,4). Two types of gliders are deployed within the array: open-ocean gliders (dashed lines) sample spatial variability within and around the moored array, and vertically profiling gliders sample the waters above the subsurface Global Profiler Mooring (1).

The gliders and other parts of the Global array can be reprogrammed from shore to gather measurements of an unexpected event or change in conditions. The gliders also solve the dilemma of relaying data back to shore from beneath the surface. When underwater gliders circling the array get close to a mooring, they download data from the mooring through the water via an acoustic moden. They then surface and transmit the data to a satellite for transmission to OOI’s servers.

For more information, check out the Irminger Sea Array related news stories.


This array includes following research sites and platforms.

KeySite NameWater Depth
2 Apex Surface Mooring (GI01SUMO) 2,800 meters
1 Apex Profiler Mooring (GI02HYPM) 2,800 meters
3 Flanking Subsurface Mooring A (GI03FLMA) 2,800 meters
4 Flanking Subsurface Mooring B (GI03FLMB) 2,800 meters
Mobile Assets (GI05MOAS) 1,000 meters

Research Themes