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MoMARSAT Sea Campaign 2019

Conducted by IFREMER and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP-Université de Paris), the MOMARSAT 2019 at-sea campaign runs from June 11 to July 4 aboard the oceanographic vessel "Pourquoi pas?", accompanied by the submersible "Nautile", for the 9th consecutive year. The aim of the mission is to carry out maintenance on the EMSO-Açores observatory located off the Azores, at the Lucky Strike hydrothermal site, at 37°N latitude of the Atlantic ridge.

MoMARSAT Sea Campaign 2019

Publication date: 10/07/2019

Press, Research

Related teams :
Marine Geosciences

The aim of this seabed observatory is to monitor the dynamics of a ridge hydrothermal system and associated ecosystems over the long term (> 10 years). It comprises a live satellite data transmission infrastructure and a set of autonomous geophysical, chemical, physical, oceanographic and biological sensors.

N/O oceanographic vessel "Pourquoi pas?" docked in the port of Horta, island of Faial, Azores archipelago, July 2017. © MoMARSAT 2017 - Benjamin Wheeler

The role of the IPGP team, led by Mathilde Cannat, is to maintain all the observatory’s geophysical equipment and take geological samples of the site. The IPGP-CNRS engineers are in charge of recovering and deploying the seabed seismometers (also known as OBS) in place around the Lucky Strike volcano. A second team of IPGP scientists is recovering and installing temperature probes, current meters and pressure probes at fluid outlets to better understand the dynamics and geology of these hydrothermal sites.

Temperature probe deployed in the hydrothermal vent at the White Castle site, southwest of the Lucky Strike hydrothermal field, August 2018. MoMARSAT2018 - IFREMER

At the same time, IFREMER teams are maintaining all the communications systems on the observatory’s various instruments, as well as sampling the fauna and hydrothermal vents to study bacterial populations.

Scientists from GET (Toulouse Geosciences and Environment Laboratory), who are also on board, are analysing the chemistry of the hydrothermal fluids by taking spot samples and deploying an autonomous system called ‘DEAFS’, which takes monthly samples of the hot fluids. A team from MIO (Institut Méditerranéen d’Océanologie) is studying ferroxidising bacteria by sampling iron-rich microbial mats and deploying an in situ coloniser in the fluid gradient. Finally this year, an additional team from UBO (Université de Bretagne Occidentale) and IFREMER joined the project to observe tidal turbulence in the water column and the dynamics of currents associated with plumes from the hydrothermal field.

To find out more, click here:

Broadband seafloor seismometer being deployed, August 2018. © MoMARSAT 2018 - Simon Besançon
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