What is EuroSITES?
EuroSITES is a FP7 Collaborative Project which aims to form an integrated European network of 9 deep-ocean (water depth >1000m) observatories. The EuroSITES network will be coordinated by the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK and involves 13 Partners across Europe and the Cape Verde Islands.
EuroSITES will build on the work of FP6 EUR-OCEANS (Work Package 2.1 'Observing Systems') to integrate and enhance the existing European open-ocean observational capacity to encompass the ocean interior, seafloor and subseafloor. EuroSITES will produce a more reliable ocean observatory network with common funding streams and data management systems. The network will also enhance the development of more sophisticated sensors to measure more complex properties of the oceans. This will allow a greater understanding of the impact of the changing global Ocean and Earth on mankind and ecosystems at large. This has implications for policy makers, production industries (e.g. fisheries, agriculture) service industries (e.g. insurance) and society at large.
E1M3A and Pylos site info
The E1-M3A and Pylos sites were designed as open-ocean monitoring systems that can provide continuous information for physical parameters in the upper thermocline, bio-chemical parameters in the euphotic zone and air-sea interaction parameters at the sea-surface level. The E1-M3A site (Cretan Sea) and Pylos site (Southern Ionian Sea) are deployed in an area with complex hydrology where intermediate and dense water formation takes place (CIW, CDW) while water masses formed in the Levantine and the northern Aegean Sea meet and interact with those locally produced. The platform which has been upgraded recently through POSEIDON II project hosts a variety of different sensors measuring meteorological, physical and biochemical parameters. The buoy used at these sites is a Seawatch-Wavescan type which is a multi-parametric instrumentation platform and suitable for deployment in deep offshore locations (Furgo OCEANOR www.oceanor.no). The two stations are programmed to collect the data every three (3) hours and upon collection to transmit them to the receiving station.
The sea-bed observatory lies on the sea bottom and it has built-in sensors capable of recording at a high resolution the water column pressure, temperature and salinity. The communication between the platform and the surface buoy is achieved through hydro-acoustic modems. The coupling of a sea bottom observing platform with a multi-parametric mooring, creates new opportunities of monitoring the ocean not only through air-sea interaction related parameters or the first few hundred meters of the water column data, but also through geo-physical and bio-chemical data of the deep sea basin that are now becoming available.