Submarine observatories monitoring biotic and abiotic factors over time

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EMSO-PT
European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory (Portugal)

EMSO-PT is a European Large Scale Research Infrastructure, consisting of multidisciplinary underwater observatories and other data processing support infrastructures. The goal of EMSO-PT is to generate continuous scientific data on marine environmental processes related to the interaction between the geosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere. This data is open access to all stakeholders.

EMSO-PT is composed of members of R&D institutions that integrate technology and science. Developing advanced instrumentation and technology is in line with national and European priorities, and is part of the European EMSO-ERIC initiative.

EMSO-ERIC is a consortium of 8 countries ( France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, , Romania, Spain and United Kingdom) with the aim of forming a European-wide sea floor and water column monitoring network.

01
Geodynamics and magmatic systems
02
Climate and greenhouse gases
03
Ocean productivity and dynamics
04
Marine mammals and fishing stocks
05
Renewable marine resources
06
Extreme episodes and catastrophes
07
Origin and limits of life
08
Dynamics of marine ecosystems

KEY ISSUES

EMSO-PT identifies eight key scientific issues related to oceans and associated resources.

These topics are in line with the themes identified by EMSO-ERIC.

objective

To establish a network for monitoring the seafloor and the water column, contributing to greater scientific knowledge and more informed policies.

The fulfillment of the EMSO-PT objective implies the generation of scientific data that consequently, will provide more effective and efficient management of maritime spaces and their natural resources.

The main form of data generation will be through the installation of underwater observatories. These stations will acquire a set of biotic and abiotic parameters of the ocean floor and water column, namely  temperature, salinity, turbidity, acoustics, currents, dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Data processing will be done through the channels defined within EMSO-ERIC, allowing for the  integration and availability of data acquired by all European partners.

OBSERVATORIES

The observatories that make up EMSO-PT are based on
the EMSO-ERIC consortium guidelines that include new R&D technologies developed by EMSO-PT members.

In addition to the submarine observatories, there are land-based facilities for processing the samples collected during the installation and maintenance operations of the submarine observatories.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE DEEP OCEAN

The deep ocean starts after the continental shelf ends, which is typically at about 200 metres depth. It represents about 80% of the total volume of the oceans.

As such, the deep ocean is one of the most complex and extensive ecosystems on the planet, and yet it is poorly understood.

Continuous environmental monitoring of the ocean floor and deep ocean is imperative if we are to manage and protect these vast regions. Such monitoring and deep ocean studies are now a legal obligation for member states with maritime jurisdiction.

In conjunction to this, the knowledge of mineral resources in the deep sea as well as hydrocarbons, will define future regulations. Hence, the data acquired by submarine observatories allow the timely detection of significant changes in the water column or the seafloor.

Several initiatives have been launched around the world for the installation of deep-sea and water column observatories, namely  DONET (Japan), and Neptune (USA and Canada).

NEWS

Another successful test for the Cadiz Station profiler completed by CCMAR (member of EMSO-PT)
The second sea trials for the water column profiler were conducted on 26th October 2020…

First tests completed for the surface profiler

The first component of EMSO-PT’s Cadiz station was successfully tested off the coast of Olhão, Algarve….

Portuguese Infrastructures Roadmap published by FCT

The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) has published the new National Roadmap for Research Infrastructures…

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