Physical Oceanography Unit (PO Unit) was established in the early 90's under
the Malta Council for Science and Technology. It now forms part of the Faculty of Science within the Univesity of Malta.
PO Unit undertakes fundamental research in 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. It offers facilities for the gathering,
processing, analysis and management of high quality physical oceanographic
observations both for long term and baseline studies as well as
for general applications in marine environmental research and assessments.
The Unit endeavours to enhance its activity on an operational scale
by the installation and maintenance of permanent monitoring systems
which provide data for ocean forecasting, and by applying numerical
modelling techniques in the study of physical marine systems. It
operates in collaboration with international organisations with
which it has expanded its activities through a number of funded
research projects. The Unit provides services and technical support
to local entities including government departments and private agencies.
It organises conferences, seminars, workshops and specialised training
programs in order to promote oceanography in Malta and in the Mediterranean.
tethered-type current meter under test before deployment
Click image to enlarge
The PO Unit acts as a
national oceanographic data centre and promotes the IOC/IODE (IOC
Committee on the International Oceanographic Data and Information
Exchange) products and oceanographic data management activities
in Malta (IODE
National Report). It provides support to local entities involved
in marine research and monitoring, to collect and maintain oceanographic
data according to international standards. The PO Unit plays the
role of keeping track of ocean observations made in the vicinity
of the Maltese Islands. Data collected by individual scientists,
local agencies and governmental departments is primarily kept under
the respective sources, and under different, often incompatible
formats. The PO Unit aims to identify these data holdings and to
bring the data under one database with standardized formats.