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European scientists at sea: A scientific weblog26.10.2009 - (idw) Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie
A scientific weblog on the expedition MSM13 "HOMER - Hotspot Micobial Ecosystem Research" with the German research vessel Maria S Merian to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
Written by the scientists on board of RV MARIA S MERIAN
25 October - 14 December 2009
European Deep Sea Research: The HERMIONE Project - "Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man's Impact On European Seas"
Naming their expedition after the poet HOMER, deep-sea researchers of the EU project HERMIONE are exploring the Eastern Mediterranean Deep Sea. Their goal is to understand the processes regulating the energy sources for chemosynthetic ecosystems in the deep sea and to map their biodiversity and distribution.
The Eastern Mediterranean Deep Sea hosts many chemosynthetic ecosystems rich in chemical compounds that can be used by microbes to produce biomass and energy for deep sea animals. Diverse and highly specialized life forms can thrive in such ecosystems associated with mud volcanoes, pockmarks and brine pools. It is a wondrous fact that seafloor microbes can turn all kinds of substrates into food and habitats for deep sea life, including sunken woods. How microbial processes influence the diversity and distribution of deep-sea life is the main question of the expedition HOMER. To explore the deep sea floor, measure geochemical processes, and record the diversity of life and its habitats the marine scientists take a number of high-tech tools with them. The most important one is QUEST4000 (MARUM, University Bremen), an unmanned submersible equipped with high-resolution video systems and powerful arms for collecting samples. We will also use an in situ Heat flux probes to learn about the seafloor temperature and fluid flow (IfM GEOMAR), the autonomous underwater vehicle SEAL (MARUM, University Bremen) to map the seafloor in high resolution, and many scientific payloads of AWI and IFREMER to study biological and chemical processes at the seafloor.
The expedition starts 25 October and ends 14 December 2009 in Limassol, Cyprus.
http://www.mpi-bremen.de Homepage of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
http://www.mpi-bremen.de/Weblog1.html Weblog 1
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