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High resolution temporal and spatial study of the benthic biology and geochemistry of a north-eastern Atlantic abyssal locality

Objective



Objective: To identify, quantify and model the principal processes within the abyssal benthic boundary layer which affect the permanent sedimentary record of the incoming chemical flux.
Approach: An intensive multi-disciplinary (geochemical, biochemical, physical and biological) study of a highly seasonal abyssal locality in the NE Atlantic over one complete annual cycle.
The aims will be to:
1. Quantify and characterise the incoming vertical flux of organic and inorgani matter and its resuspension in the near-bottom layers (by sediment traps, transmissometers and midwater cameras).
2. Measure the rate of its incorporation into the sediment column and the fluxes across the sediment-water interface (by in situ landers, sediment column chemical analysis and sediment profile imaging).
3. Study the interaction between the incoming signal and the benthic biota, including bioturbation (by conventional sampling and analysis and in situ manipulation/experimentation).
4. Incorporate the resulting data into predictive models.
European dimension: Logistically, technically and intellectually, this programme could not be achieved by any single European nation alone. The results will be of value to all nations, both in relation to palaeoceanographic interpretation of the sediment record and to the possible use of the deep-sea floor as a repository for waste or as a source of raw materials.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL

Address

Empress Dock, European Way
So14 3zh Southampton

United Kingdom

Administrative Contact

Anthony Leonard RICE

Participants (18)

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Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung

Germany

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

France

Christian-Albrechts Universität Kiel

Germany

Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique

France

GOETEBORG UNIVERSITY

Sweden

IFREMER - INSTITUT FRANÇAIS DE RECHERCHE POUR L'EXPLOITATION DE LA MER

France

INTERNATIONAL MARINE DREDGING CONSULTA

Belgium

Institut Océanographique 'Fondation Albert I Prince de Monaco'

France

NETHERLANDS INSTITUTE FOR SEA RESEARCH

Netherlands

Queen's University of Belfast

United Kingdom

THE SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION FOR MARINE SCIENCE

United Kingdom

THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL

United Kingdom

UNIVERSITY OF HAMBURG

Germany

UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH

United Kingdom

Universiteit Gent

Belgium

University College Galway

Ireland

University of Patras

Greece

Università degli Studi di Ancona

Italy

Project information

Grant agreement ID: MAS3950018

  • Start date

    1 February 1996

  • End date

    31 January 1999

Funded under:

FP4-MAST 3

Coordinated by:

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL

United Kingdom