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Integration and enhancement of key existing European deep-ocean observatories (EuroSITES)
Start date: 01 Apr 2008, End date: 31 Mar 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

At present there are a number of fixed point observatories that autonomously measure biological, chemical and physical variables in the oceans around Europe. These operate at various levels of sophistication but in a largely uncoordinated and fragmented manner. There is no agreed set of basic variables and common data protocols are not followed. EuroSITES has two main objectives: 1: To enhance the existing deep ocean observatories thus forming a coherent European network. This will then provide a clear and relevant description of the time varying properties of the ocean system. 2: To perform a small number of specific science missions that will, in the future, form the basis for greatly improved and novel monitoring capability. The work we propose addresses directly and explicitly the vision of GEOSS. We will address this in the context of the time changing properties of the ocean interior, seafloor and sub seafloor around Europe. EuroSITES will promote links with other international observation networks such as the network envisioned under the U.S. National Science Foundation's Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). Long-term time-series data offer some of the most important insights into the ways our oceans are changing. Crucially important processes occur on time scales that can not be observed by ships and in the deep parts of the ocean that are outside the reach of satellites. Sustained in situ observations are therefore required to provide high quality data on climatically and ecologically relevant variables at a few key locations. EuroSITES is the means to achieve this.
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