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EuroSITES to integrate deep ocean observatories

An EU grant of 3.5 million Euros has been awarded to the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton to integrate Europe’s deep ocean observatories - which provide important information about the role the oceans play in climate change - into a coherent network.

The aim of EuroSITES is to integrate and enhance the existing array of in situ, fixed-point measurement and monitoring equipment in the deep seas around the Europe (see map for 9 sites).

The main objectives of EuroSITES will include the standardization of sensors, best practice and data management. EuroSITES will also carry out specific science missions to develop innovative equipment to measure more aspects of the ocean in situ than are currently available for long-term deployments. These include the development of sensors to measure in situ deep ocean oxygen consumption, mesozooplankton and pH. Other activities will include long-term benthic community change as an indicator of global change, slope stability and pore water/seafloor measurements along with pressure measurements for Earthquake/tsunami detection).

The observatories are moored at water depths in excess of a thousand meters, extending from the surface water to, or beneath, the ocean floor. Properties measured include temperature, salinity and pCO2, and help assess the contribution the oceans make to changes in climate.

Globally, there are fewer than 150 permanent deep-water observatories reporting air and sea conditions, and Europe has nine of them. EuroSITES will work closely with other European and international projects and initiatives including ESONET, EMSO, ARGO, HERMES, MERSEA, OOI, ORION, NEPTUNE and OceanSITES. Jointly European initiatives will contribute to the subsea component of the European GMES and to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Led by Dr. Richard Lampitt and Dr. Kate Larkin of the Ocean Biogeochemistry & Ecosystems group, the EU Framework 7 Collaborative Project, EuroSITES, is a consortium of 13 partners across 8 countries involving many of the leading oceanographic institutions across Europe. For more information visit:

Natural Environment Research Council
Universitetet I Bergen
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research
Instituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale
Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche
Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften an der Universität Kiel
The University Court of The University of Aberdeen
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Institur français de recherché pour l’exploitation de la mer
SOPAB/ Océanopolis
Instituto Canario de Ciencias Marinas
Instituto Nacional de Desenvolvimento das Pescas
Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Relevant LINKS
- EUROSITES webpage
- Ocean Observatpries FactSheet produced by EUROCEANS Knowledge Transfer

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