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IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System)

Argo Float Animation

"Understanding our Oceans"

The Argo Float animation is a collaboration with Esmee van Wijk, who is a physical oceanographer based at IMOS Hobart. Inspired by the Forests of the Sea animation she approached me to create an animation about Argo Floats, to engage kids with marine science.


The objective for this animation was to create a fun and informative animation that explains what Argo Floats are, how they work and how Argo data is used by scientists. Esmee and I worked together in developing the story, trying to keep the information simple and clear.  

The animation explains what an Argo float is, how it operates and how all this data helps us to understand the ocean circulation and climate.


Oceanographers have deployed more than 3500 robotic profiling floats into the global oceans as part of the international Argo program over the past 15 years. Argo floats measure water properties such as temperature, salinity and pressure from the surface to a depth of two kilometres. Floats can change their buoyancy by pumping oil into and out of an external bladder, which allows them to sink, drift with the ocean currents and measure data as they rise to the surface. The floats send their data and location back to processing centres on land via the satellite network. Each float repeats this cycle every 10 days and can drift in the oceans measuring data for as long as 4 to 7 years.


Story: Malou Zuidema & Esmee van Wijk

Artist: Malou Zuidema

Scientist: Esmee van Wijk

Voice-over: Jan Zika

Thanks to: Australia Argo Team

Supported by: CSIRO, Argo and IMOS


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