<p>The multi-annual partnership-based research programme SPIRAL (deep seismic and regional investigation in northern Algeria) aims to study the deep structure of the North Algerian margin using "high penetration" seismic methods: low frequency vertical reflection shooting, as well as wide angle reflection and refraction with deployment of listening stations on the seabed and onshore. The first strand of the SPIRAL programme SPIRAL involves the sea cruise to acquire geophysical data. This cruise took place aboard RV L'Atalante in two legs, respectively from 26/09 (Oran) to 10/10 2009 (Annaba) and from 13/10 (Annaba) to 10/11 2009 (Oran). These two legs provided acquisition of wide-angle seismic and penetrating multichannel seismic reflection data, which was the main objective of the project, as well as additional data like very high resolution (Chirp or sediment sounder type), magnetic and gravimetric, and multibeam bathymetric echosounder data. The profiles acquired during SPIRAL should supply elements to characterize the structural levels in and under the sediment cover (crust) down to the mantle in the targeted zones given in the cruise report; obtain accurate images of faulted and folded area and the major boundaries like the Moho; constrain the physical and rheological properties (particularly velocity models) which should help determine things like the nature of the crust at the continent-ocean transition. These constraints will make it possible to perform thermo-mechanical modelling on the scale of the Maghrebide belts to the base of the crust (temperature, density) and thus specify the main boundaries of the large crustal domains.</p>
<p>MOOSE-GE aims at 1) ensuring the maintenance of offshore French Mediterranean moorings and 2) carrying out an annual mapping of hydrological, biogeochemical and biological characteristics of the whole north-western basin. The related project are MERMEX, HYMEX, MISTRALS and MOOSE.</p>
SHOM cruise aboard the Pourquoi Pas?
Characterizing the variability of hydrological and current features and particulate fluxes on the continental rise of the Gulf of Lion and in the deep convection zone. Monitoring of deep benthic communities in the western canyons and on the continental rise of the Gulf of Lion.
The objective of this project is the investigation of the structure and functioning of different CWC successional habitats (living, dead and buried corals), in order to understand the response of the CWC to a changing ocean. Therefore, we identified 4 specific objectives which will allow us to get insight in the distribution of these CWC habitats (objective 1), the responsible environmental drivers (objective 2), the associated (molecular and morphological) biodiversity (objective 3) and the connectivity between distinct CWC habitats at different spatial scales (objective 4). We will concentrate our study on the Bay of Biscay by providing multiple-scale analysis of habitat mapping, environmental characterisation, biodiversity patterns and processes of interconnectivity. However, comparisons will be made through European-US collaboration with other regions at both sides of the Atlantic in order to understand amphi- and trans-Atlantic distribution patterns and processes. This project is part of the 7th EC Framework Programme Hermione (Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man's Impact On European Seas) (2011-2013).This monitoring project aims to execute a continuous research on the effects of the exploitation of non-living resources of the territorial sea and the continental shelf on the sedimentary movements and the marine environment (Law of 13 June 1969 on the exploration and exploitation of non-living resources of the territorial sea and the continental shelf). Belgian national research program.
Campaign GENESIS 2 "Pen Duick/Melilla", the second of three ROV campaigns, will focus on "Pen Duick Escarpment" in the Gulf of Cadiz or on the recently discovered "Melilla mounds" in the South-East Alboran Sea (Mediterranean Sea). The final choice of the study area will depend on the results of the TTR17 cruise with R/V Logachev (June-July 2008) and the R/V Marion Dufresne cruise (June 2008). One of these study areas will be surveyed using multibeam, side-scan sonar and high resolution seismics. Based on this site survey, the ROV Genesis will be deployed to carry out detailed mapping. Also the hydrography and sediment dynamics of the area will be studied with respect to the steering of the present ecosystems. GENESIS 2 takes place in the framework of the European projects HERMES (EC FP6), MiCROSYSTEMS (ESF) and HERMIONE (EC FP7).
<p>The MARLBORO cruise project aimed to study Post-Messinian tectonic evolution in the South Alboran basin (Morocco). The presence of sediment formations, especially contourites (sediments deposited or reworked by marine bottom currents) and instabilities, deposited since the end of the Messinian (approx. 5.33 Ma), provide us with top rate sedimentary markers to recreate the tectonic evolution well. Moreover, the region is affected by strong quakes and by slope instabilities which cause concern. Although active accidents have been identified and recently mapped on the Andalusia margin, no such detailed studies have been conducted yet on the Moroccan margin. The Xauen/Tofino and Alboran ridges off Morocco, in the south of the Alboran Sea, were chosen for the study zone since they show both past and current signs of strong tectonic deformation, underwater landslides and activity of bottom currents whose contourite type deposits can provide an excellent stratigraphic marker. The cruise's objective was the imaging of post-Messinian structures using medium resolution reflection seismics. The cruise (7 days in the zone) made it possible to acquire about 1,100 km of reflection seismic surveys along the 15 profiles perpendicular to the ridges, and 3 profiles parallel to the ridges, in order to monitor the lateral and longitudinal evolution of contourites and of Mass Transport Deposits (MTDs), as well as the geometric relationships existing between these objects and active tectonic structures. The MARLBORO cruise is related to the French TerMex (Mediterranean margin) and Actions Marges (Améditer) programmes as well as to Spanish national Contouriber and SAGAS programmes and the international Topomed programme.</p>
<p>The deep basin and continental shelf of the Gulf of Lion (North Western Mediterranean) are known for the formation of dense water in wintertime by the action of N-NW continental winds. This dense water is formed both offshore and at the coast. The area of Cap de Creus and its adjacent canyon is the main zone where dense coastal water is exported. Dense water dynamics on the continental shelf are also influenced by E-SE storms. Transfers of organic, inorganic, particulate and dissolved matter from the surface to the deep basin and from the shelf towards the slope by these physical processes can influence the redistribution of chemical elements in sediments, as well as the structure and functioning of benthic and pelagic ecosystems. The CASCADE cruise aimed to determine the characteristics of these two physical mechanisms and their numerous impacts, as well as monitoring changes in the hydrology, dynamics, sedimentology and biogeochemistry of water bodies. We propose a qualitative and quantitative estimate of particulate and dissolved, organic and inorganic matter fluxes exported towards the slope and the deep basin by these mechanisms.</p>
-Validation of surface salinity measurements using drifting buoys. Three models of drifting buoys (17 buoys in all) were deployed in the Bay of Biscay on 2 April (R/V Thalassa trip) and on 2-3 May (COSMOS1 aboard Côtes de la Manche). This involved passing close to the buoys, taking samples, TSG measurements and CTD hauls to validate the data. Two sections taken by CTD probe in front structure eddy (for the CONGAS programme). Retrieval of a prototype PROVOR-CTS3 float deployed in May by the Côte d'Aquitaine vessel. 9 CTD sensors to be attached to elephant seals were tested (mounted on SBE25 CTD during profiles). This falls under the COSMOS project, headed by J. Boutin and G. Reverdin.