Demonstration missions

ESONET CA Report identified seven sites, as yet non-cabled, as priority targets for future deep seafloor and water column observatories. Amongst these 7 sites, following pages focus on 4 demonstration sites that have been awarded after a first call for proposals:

  • LOOME demonstration mission on the NORDIC site of ESONE, more exactly on the active Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano (HMMV) located at 1000 meters water depth showing frequent outbursts and gas eruptions;
  • MoMAR demonstration mission located in the AZORES - MoMAR site which is an ongoing observatory project, with international support, and involvement of more than 14 institutions throughout Europe.

In addition, demonstration missions may also be planned at other sites that have not been identified in the ESONET CA report, yet offering the best answer to specific operational needs. For example, this is the case for:

  • MARMARA demonstration mission, located in the Marmara sea which is associated with large destructive earthquakes threatening the heavily populated Istanbul area (9 Millions inhabitants). Particularly destructive earthquakes that affected Istanbul occurred in 1509 and 1766. Another occurred in 1894. The recent earthquakes of Izmit and Duzce, in 1999, accelerated seismic activity in the Sea of Marmara and northwestern Aegean areas. ESONET NoE will determine to which extent a deep sea observatory could help improve earthquake hazards assessment and mitigation for the populations surrounding the Marmara Sea.

ESONET NoE also selected the LIDO demonstration mission (Listening to the Deep-Ocean Environment) working on 2 sites: East Sicily and western Iberian site. it is a research program that will help establishing a scientific base to allow:

  1. the real-time automatic identification and classification of nonbiological and biological sounds,
  2. the monitoring of marine organisms and population dynamics,
  3. the assessment and control of the long-term effects of anthropogenic sources on marine organisms,
  4. the education of the public, end-users and the administration and
  5. the approval of ethical guidelines and procedures.

A second call for demonstration missions' proposals has also been initiated. [More information ...]. 

2 demonstration sites have been awarded:

  • MODOO demonstration mission in the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, 350 nm off southwest Ireland.
  • AOEM demonstration mission in the Arctic ocean, western Svalbard continental shelf and slope (between 78° and 80°N in the western Fram Strait)