The Santander standard section has been running from early 90's as a series of monthly hydrographical series under the broader IEO program RADIALES. This program was devised to provide hydrographical and biogeochemical series in marine waters around Spain. The sampling scheme was devised to perform the sampling typically in 1-day journeys assisted by small ships, therefore the main focus was in the continental shelf. However, due to the proximity of the shelf-break in front of the city of Santander (SE Bay of Biscay) it was possible to gather a monthly series of intermediate waters since early 90's in the outer stations. The sampling was limited to 1000 metre until late 2007, then it was extended to 1500 and since 2014, after the construction of a larger regional ship that is in charge of the sampling, it covers the full-depth 2400 m.
The Augusto Gonzalez-Linares oceano-meteorological buoy was set in 2007 nearby the so-called station 7 (the first one that can be considered open ocean; indeed, the only oceanic station that has been sampled with monthly frequency).
The combination of the monthly regular sampling and the AGL buoy provides us with a continuous status of the oceanic waters in the region. Moreover, the existence of water samples nearby the buoy allows a monthly check and calibration of the sensors, this is of major importance for the less stable optical sensors as O2 and chlorophyll-fluorescence. Starting on September 1st, 2014 a number of products from the observatory will be delivered operationally as part of the UE-FP7 FixO project.