EMSO (European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory) is a European Research Infrastructure (RI) whose objective is long term, real-time monitoring of the environmental processes involving the interactions between the geosphere, the biosphere and the hydrosphere, and natural hazards in particular. It is made up of several moored observatories located in deep waters or in the water column, deployed in all the seas around Europe, from the Arctic to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea.

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EMSO is structured around several fields of science: geosciences, biochemistry, physical oceanography and marine ecology. This infrastructure has three main objectives:

  • the study of the impact of climate warming on the seas and the oceans around Europe,
  • study of deep-sea ecosystems, for basic research but also for sustainable management, with a special focus on human-induced and climate factors,
  • study of tectonic, volcanic, hydrothermal and gravity processes and monitoring the associated natural hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, submarine slides) for coastal zones with high population densities.

Operations and developments

EMSO includes 13 founding members: Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Romania, Sweden, Greece, the United Kingdom, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, the Netherlands.

Supported by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) — which promotes scientific cooperation in Europe —, EMSO is about to gain status as a full legal entity under European law and become a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). The EMSO ERIC  integrates basic research, training/education and dissemination of information on European ocean observatories and will be the central contact point to set up collaborations with observatories in the rest of the world.

Fixo3, improve access to observatories

The FIXO3 (Fixed Point Open Ocean Observatory) network seeks to federate moored ocean observatories and improve access to these installations and to data for a wider community. IFREMER and more specifically the RDT unit works on interfacing observatory sensors (pCO2, pH, hydrophones et seismometers) for installation on the EMSO-Azores node and eventually other nodes in the EMSO RI.