The objective of the SargAlert project is to significantly improve the forecasts of the strandings of the invasive algal species Sargassum in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean Sea and on the Brazilian coast. The synergy between satellite data / ocean transport modeling / in-situ measurements will be used for that purpose. SargAlert will provide alert bulletins to end-users such as territorial authority, tourism, fishers. The challenges that will be addressed by SargAlert are as follows:
- Detection and monitoring of at different time (hour to daily) and spatial (20 m to 5 km) scales using a multi-sensor satellite data analysis (Low Earth and GEOstationary orbits),
- Improvement of Sargassum stranding forecasts by combining physical transport models with artificial intelligence approaches,
- Validation of satellite data products and forecast models using in-situ measurements,
- Production of alert bulletins to address societal issues.
The innovative developments of the project will enable an integrative approach of the Sargassum stranding issues: synergy between satellite data, understanding of Sargassum spatio-temporal distribution, transport forecast. Improvements of ocean modeling of dynamics will benefit societal authorities to better respond to the risks induced by the more frequent and intense Sargassum blooms in the Atlantic Ocean. The operational Sargassum forecast center will thus have all required inputs to provide reliable forecasts in near real time.