Christoph Waldmann, Ph.D.
University of Bremen, Germany
The Status of the European Deep Sea Observatory Initiative
Wednesday – October 10, 2007
Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.
The project ESONET, which is funded by the European Commission as part of a preparatory phase to establish deep sea observatories around Europe, was begun in March of this year. The ultimate goal is to create an organization capable of implementing, operating, and maintaining a network of multidisciplinary ocean observatories in deep waters around Europe from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea. Within the first ESONET project, processes have been identified which make the implementation of permanent observatories a necessity. The most important processes are: (1) the episodic release of methane from the seabed affecting climate change, (2) the relationship between earthquakes, tsunami generation and submarine slope failures, and (3) the short term biogeochemical processes affecting the marine ecosystem.
The observation of these marine processes has to be carried out in the framework of a global program. Therefore, ESONET is seeking to establish close links to ongoing initiatives in North America and Japan.