The Capo Granitola observatory is a system that integrates several observational platforms operating in the area, which ensure a continuous flow of oceanographic data for monitoring the state of the sea in scenarios of climate change. The acquired data will feed into the Decision Support System (DSS), which allows for emergency management in the Malta and Sicily Channel.
The Capo Granitola observatory currently consists of three systems:
- A high-frequency (16.15 MHz) WERA-type radar system, consisting of a beamforming station, for real-time mapping of the significant wave height in the northeastern coastal portion of the Sicily Channel, with a spatial resolution of 1.5 km and temporal resolution of 15 minutes. The system has been operational since April 2018 and the data will be available in real time at the European High-Frequency Radar (HFR) node site. The system is operated in collaboration with the CNR at Capo Granitola and the University of Palermo. The installation of a second CODAR-type station is planned during 2022 to acquire real-time mapping of surface sea currents;
- A directional wave buoy owned by ISPRA and part of the National Wavemeter Network (RON), for the accurate measurement of wave motion every 30 minutes;
- An integrated system for real-time wave motion monitoring by means of continuous and ubiquitous seismic signals (microseism) originating from the transfer of energy from ocean masses to solid earth and detected by the broadband seismic stations of the existing permanent networks managed by INGV and the University of Malta, and used for seismic and volcanic monitoring in Sicily and Malta.
The observatory is part of a wider monitoring network that covers the south-western coastal area of Sicily and the stretch of sea between Sicily and Malta. The site is currently supported by the European Interreg project i-WaveNET. The implementation of the observatory is foreseen through the installation of a wired bottom station at 4 km from the coast, for the real-time acquisition of marine parameters and equipped with hydrophones, multi-parameter probe and cameras.