First Mission for New Ocean Floor Observatory

Date: June 1, 2012

Source: EurekAlert

Author: Jan Steffan

Up to now marine scientists investigating complex processes on the ocean floor have had limited choices. If they wanted to examine large areas on the ocean floor, they could do it only for short periods of time, because research vessels are expensive to use. If they wanted to examine long term processes, they could use autonomous observatories, but they would get measurements from only one point in the ocean.

Scientists and technicians of the GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany) have now developed a modular multidisciplinary seafloor observatory, MoLab, which is able to measure biological, physical, chemical or geological parameters over a period of several months and a range of several square kilometres.

On Saturday, 26th May, MoLab set off on board RV POSEIDON on its first scientific mission. “We will install MoLab on a cold water coral reef off the coast of northern Norway. We want to find out why the corals grow at this specific place and what the impact of climate change on the corals will be “, says Dr Olaf Pfannkuche, marine scientist at GEOMAR and chief scientist of the cruise.


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