The European Station for Time Series in the OCean, ESTOC, pertaining to the European EuroSITES deep ocean observatories network, is the first European station of its characteristics.
From year 2011 onwards, the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands, PLOCAN, is responsible for the Operational part of ESTOC. The station currently constitutes the oceanic observation node of the platform.
It is located about 100 Km north of Gran Canaria Island (29º10'N, 15º30'W), in deep oligotrophic waters (3670 m) that include the main water masses encountered in the Eastern North Atlantic.
At ESTOC the new methodologies that allow a " Better Ocean observation " are maximized. Predominantly operational, it includes an ODAS Meteo - Oceanographic autonomous monitoring platform, responsibility of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands. Besides the suite of meteorological parameters, it allows the physical and chemical real-time monitoring of the water column, and therefore we will be able to register high-frequency changes in the ocean properties.
Research cruises are carried out as part of the Programme to take samples "in situ", at least on a seasonal periodicity basis. Every trip measurements of the thermohaline structure, chemical parameters (nutrients, pCO2, O2, pH, metals) as well as currents, optical properties and phytoplankton pigments are conducted.
The detailed time-series obtained throughout these 17 years, allow the comprehension and monitoring of the conditions and long-term variability of the subtropical gyre in the eastern region of the North Atlantic. Its time homogeneity turns it, together with HOT, BATS and the hydrostation S, into the sole fixed stations in the world where the current tendencies in the CO2 fluxes can be stated.
ESTOC is nowadays one of the most sampled and interesting stations for the scientific community. It has served as reference in processing (CANIGO) and technological (DOMEST, DOLAN, ACOMAR) studies; it has also been used as a basis for models development (MOMAC) and to validate satellite imagery observations.