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Sea Multidisciplinary Observations


Complex physical, biological, chemical, and geological phenomena, possibly interrelated, are known to take place in the oceans and their understanding demands novel investigation approaches able to contribute to a inclusive vision of the Earth. From the ’90 years the seafloor multidisciplinary observatories have represented essential tools in support to the long-term seafloor monitoring. To this aim a scientifically powerful tool is represented by the seafloor multiparameter long-term observatories which can provide long time-series of multiple variables at a single location.

These multidisciplinary data sets will enable the enhancement of more traditional methods (e.g., episodic marine campaigns), giving strong benefits to many disciplines, like geophysics, physical oceanography and biology. Seafloor observatories could offer Earth and ocean scientists new opportunities to study multiple, interrelated processes over time scales ranging from seconds to decades. Scientific processes with various time scales should benefit from data collected by seafloor observatories. These include:

  • episodic processes e.g., eruptions at mid-ocean ridges, deep-ocean convection at high latitudes, earthquakes, and biological, chemical and physical impacts of storm events;
  • processes with periods from months to several years e.g., hydrothermal activity and biomass variability in vent communities;
  • global and long-term processes e.g., dynamics of the oceanic lithosphere and thermohaline circulation.

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