Data platform launched to deliver oceanographic information on the Magallanes region

This week the Environmental Data Time Series of the Magallanes Region and Antarctic Peninsula (Starm) platform was launched, an unprecedented repository of oceanographic and meteorological data.
The platform is freely accessible to researchers, organizations and citizens interested in using oceanographic information collected during the last years in the region, which includes oceanographic cruises, weather stations, anchors and a FerryBox system.
All this information seeks to promote scientific development and contribute to the delivery of quality data to decision makers in the region.
In state, it allows to store, manage, curate and share oceanographic historical data of the Magallanes Region, from the Ideal Center belonging to the UACh, which in addition to data provides high resolution maps and other visualizations of easy interpretation and download.
The platform contains physicochemical and biological information on the ocean surface that is being collected between Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams, as well as oceanographic campaigns carried out in the Beagle Channel, two weather stations, and anchoring systems; information that will be updated in an automated manner.
The project is carried out by Data Observatory (DO) in conjunction with the Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh) and the Fondap Research Center Dynamics of High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL)
Ricardo Giesecke, academic of the Institute of Marine and Limnological Sciences of the UACh and associate researcher of the Ideal Center, said that “the platform is already operational and available to its users. The data is obtained from various monitoring platforms deployed between Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams, which cover various temporal and spatial scales.”
Access to information and disclosure
The objective of this project is to democratize access to oceanographic information under the FAIR principles, which ensure that digital resources can be easily found, accessible, allow interoperability and reuse.
It seeks to integrate regional information that is stored in various repositories, in some cases unanalyzed or processed, in order to turn Magallanes into a pole of scientific development and facilitator of environmental decision-making, making use of critical data for regional development.
Giesecke says that, in a next stage, they hope to incorporate oceanographic data from the Antarctic territory, until today very scarce in the world and of high interest to the scientific community.
Researchers in Germany have already expressed their desire to contribute their data to the platform, thus expanding the impact and scope of the initiative.
Currently, a continuous monitoring system is being completed, using a ferry as a work platform, to which a series of equipment was installed to measure environmental parameters along the navigation route (Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams).
The Yaghan vessel of the company Austral Boom makes six trips per month, covering a distance of more than 500 km per trip, which provides fundamental information to understand the dynamics of fjords and channels in the region.
During navigation, temperature, salinity, pH, nitrate concentration, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, partial pressure of CO2, turbidity among other surface water parameters are recorded continuously.

Álvaro Paredes, project development engineer at Data Observatory, highlighted the importance of this initiative, since “it allows us to generate a typical platform to reuse in other projects and themes, and interact with the Magellanic research team, delivering geophysical measurements obtained from different types of variables and instruments”.
As for other implementing partners of the project in the territory, Fani Ortega, in charge of heritage management, Parque del Estrecho, contributes to it by providing the land for the installation of a weather station in Punta Santa Ana, at the service of the platform.
In this regard, he says: “We created an agreement that commits us to download and send weekly the data it collects, such as temperature, atmospheric pressure, precipitation, wind speed and direction. We hope that this will contribute to enriching the information of scientific and educational interest, in addition to providing inputs for therolled up new content.”
For his part, Edmundo Villarroel, maintenance manager of Tabsa, explains that in the last three months they have already made about 12 trips measuring data. “We trust that this project and the data it shares, will contribute to the knowledge of our territory for scientific development and decision-making of various kinds.”
Data Observatory is a non-profit public-private-academic collaboration led by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Knowledge and the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, together with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Adolfo Ibáñez University (UAI).
Its mission is to acquire, store, process, analyze and make available data sets of great volume and quality, to contribute to the development of knowledge, science, technology and innovation, thanks to data science and AI.
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Original source in Spanish

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