Cruise title: SMARTEX 2 – JC257

Lead PIs: Adrian Glover and Daniel Jones

Partners: National Oceanography Centre, Natural History Museum, University of Southampton, University of Liverpool, Heriot-Watt University, Scottish Association of Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth, BGS, Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Location: Pacific Ocean

Dates: 06 February 2024

About: The project aims to better understand the ecosystem in the Pacific abyss and how the different components interact and interconnect. We will start by assessing the water and its dynamic flows over time and space. We will use this to make predictions about where sediment plumes generated by mining could be transported. We then assess the linkages between the water, sediment surface and sub sediments, evaluating the natural cycling of nutrients and metals that is important to maintain ecosystem health. The structure of the seabed, its shape and the physical nature of the sediments will be mapped and linked to biological patterns. The biological processes that lead to these patterns will be assessed by detailing the life histories and reproduction of the organisms present and their connectivity across multiple scales. We will determine their role in maintaining structured communities of life, a high biodiversity and a functioning food web. We will then evaluate the functions in the ecosystem that these organisms provide, which help maintain a healthy ecosystem. Although this is expedition is focused on understanding baseline condition in an undisturbed environment, evidence from the scientific assessment will provide information that is critical for understanding the environmental risk of potential future deep-sea mining activities.

Add Comment

to top