IPMA - Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera
EMSO-PT: European Multidisciplinary Sea floor and Water Column Observatory - Portugal
The deep-sea floor ecosystem, one of the largest on the planet, is poorly monitored. Challenges related to direct or indirect anthropogenic actions can only be dealt with if long lasting seafloor and water column observatories networks are deployed. EMSO is a large-scale European Research Infrastructure, of which Portugal is one of its five funding members, established with the objective of real-time, longterm monitoring of environmental processes related to the interaction between the geosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere. It is a geographically distributed infrastructure at key sites in European waters.
EMSO-PT objectives are to create long term, sustainable, deep sea marine observatories integrated in the European EMSO-ERIC and in cooperation with other international similar networks. These aim at promoting long term time series of seafloor and water column of various abiotic and biotic parameters in order to serve the international community of scientists, students, general society and stakeholders. EMSO identifies eight main scientific questions: 1) Dynamics of tectonic plates; 2) Climate and greenhouse gas cycling; 3) Ocean productivity; 4) Marine mammal and fish stocks; 5) Non-renewable marine resources; 6) Episodes, events and catastrophes; 7) Origins and limits of life; 8) marine ecosystems dynamics. All these topics are dependent on long-term, continuous, observations, able to capture data for significant episodes as they occur.
The ultimate goal of EMSO-PT is to organize the Portuguese contribution to the EMSO network. In the mainland, two sites will be considered, one deep (Cadiz) and another shallow (North Portugal). The site to be developed in North Portugal will be a test bench for emerging monitoring strategies, towards implementing sustainable monitoring operations and setting the basis for the development of new marine products and services.