University of Malta

Physical Oceanography Research Group
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to the Physical Oceanography Research Group (PO-Res.Grp)

The Physical Oceanography Research Group (PO-Res.Grp) is established under the Faculty of Science and forms part of the Department of Geosciences of the University of Malta. It undertakes oceanographic research, in a holistic perspective, including operational observations and forecasts, specialised data management analysis and participation in international cooperative ventures. The overarching research themes of the PO-Res.Grp cover coastal meteorology, hydrography and physical oceanography with a main emphasis on the experimental study of the hydrodynamics of the sea in the vicinity of the Maltese Islands. The Group has mainly endeavoured to promote activities in operational oceanography by the installation and maintenance of permanent sea monitoring systems, and the provision of meteo/marine forecasts. Observations include atmospheric parameters, sea level, currents and waves in both delayed and operational mode; forecasts for the same parameters are issued daily for the Central Mediterranean area and in the vicinity of the Maltese Islands on the services website. The main forecasting activities concern the ROSARIO II Malta Shelf marine forecasting system, and the publishing of the MARIA / Malta atmospheric and wave forecasts. The PO-Res.Grp has also experience in oil spill modeling through the experimental use of MEDSLIK, and sustains local agencies responsible for marine pollution and hazard from oil at sea. The PO-Res.Grp also acts as a national oceanographic data centre and promotes the IOC/IODE (Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange) products and activities in Malta. A main achievement in this field is the online national oceanographic database forming part of the Malta Blue Pages.

The PO-Res.Grp has strengthened its activities, know-how and capability through the participation in several EU funded regional and pan-European scientific projects (MFSPP and MEDATLAS in FP4; MFSTEP; SEASEARCH, ESEAS-RI, SEPRISE, GRAND and MAMA both as project leader in FP5; SESAME, ECOOP, MyOCEAN and SEADATANET in FP6; and JERICO, MyOCEAN2, SEADATNET2 and PERSEUS in FP7). The PO-Res.Grp has participated in several INTERREG projects, (WERMED under MEDOCC; RISKMED and NET.MARI.MED under ARCHIMED, and more recently in MEDESS4MS, a Med Programme strategic project. Within the Italia-Malta Operational Programme 2007-2013, the PO Research Group led and coordinated the CALYPSO (HF Radar Monitoring System and Response against Marine Oil Spills in the Malta Channel) project consisting in the setting up of an HF radar observing system which furnishes routine hourly updates in the form of 2D maps on the sea surface currents and sea state conditions in real-time in the stretch of sea between Malta and Sicily.  Another recent activity is the BLUE OCEAN ENERGY project funded by the National Research and Innovation Programme of the Malta Council for Science and Technology. The project brings together efforts of academia and industry to adapt and test the feasibility of the DEXAWAVE converter as a means of extracting energy from sea waves in the Maltese coastal sea areas.

The PO-Res.Grp is also partner in several European and Mediterranean networks like ESEAS (the European Sea Level Service), MedGLOSS (the Mediterranean regional subsystem of the Global Sea Level Observing System with a local station for real-time sea level, sea temperature and atmospheric pressure measurements in Portomaso), and MonGOOS (the GOOS Regional Alliance for the Mediterranean).

The offices of the Research Group can be found at: Rooms 314, 315, 316, Chemistry Building, University of Malta (Campus Map no 30).





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