CAMPAIGNS

EMEPC Campaign Areas related to the Extension of the Continental Shelf Project

EXPLOSEA 2 - 2019

The expedition aboard the ship “B / O Sarmiento de Gamboa”, promoted by the Spanish Geological and Mining Institute (IGME) in partnership with the Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf (EMEPC), under the EXPLOSEA project, took place from 11 June to 27 July with the objective of exploring emissions of fluids and mineralizations on the seabed as well as the associated geological and biological systems.
The team led by Luis Somoza, a research professor at IGME, included the EMEPC’s ROV Luso and a multidisciplinary team of researchers from both institutions, joined by researchers from other Portuguese, Spanish and German institutions (INVOLCAN, IHM, Universidades Complutense, Göttingen and the Azores-IMAR).

A total of 20 dives were performed with the ROV Luso, together with an extensive bathymetric survey and the realization of CTD profiles in the water column that allowed the measurement of physical-chemical parameters of sea water such as salinity, temperature and pressure, fluorescence or the chains. Dives with ROV Luso allowed the exploration of the seabed, the collection of geological, biological, water and physical-chemical data in real time, as well as the record of high-resolution videos and recor  areas of interest in picture.
During 40 days at sea and more than 9,500 km of navigation, it was possible to observe and sample the Moytirra Hydrothermal Field as well as to explore areas along the Mid Atlantic Ridge. This area was also the target for collecting samples of geology and biology in several seamounts and their deep habitats in the extension area of the continental shelf of Portugal and in the proximity of the Azorean islands, to depths of 3000 meters.
The campaign discovered a garden of soft corals, located near the Capelinhos volcano, off Faial Island, formed after the devastating eruption in 1957-58. Signs of hydrothermal activity were also identified in a field of inactive carbonated chimneys, possibly related to the emission of fluids resulting from the alteration of mantle rocks.

 

Learn more about the Explosea2 campaign HERE
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Team of technical and scientific participants in the EXPLOSEA 2 campaign

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Team of technical and scientific participants in the EXPLOSEA 2 campaign

EMEPC / PEPC / LUSO / 2016

On September 2, 2016, the oceanographic campaign EMEPC / PEPC / Luso / 2016 began with the objective of collecting new data to reinforce the proposal to extend the Portuguese continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, delivered on May 11, 2009 at the United Nations. The target areas of this oceanographic campaign were the seamount chain located south of the Azores Archipelago and the Hayes Fracture Zone on the eastern flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The campaign featured the ROV Luso on board the NRP Almirante Gago Coutinho. ROV LUSO is a remotely operated submarine robot, acquired by EMEPC in 2008, which has been a fundamental tool for the selective collection of seabed samples, for capturing high definition images that allow, among other things, to develop the existing knowledge about marine biodiversity and the ecosystems of the Portuguese sea.
EMEPC is always aware of the importance of multidisciplinarity in these campaigns, with a team of scientists of diversified training on board, integrated by EMEPC and other national and international institutions, namely, IPMA and the universities of the Azores, Lisbon and Porto and University of Vienna, which covers several scientific areas such as geology, macro and microbiology, oceanography, chemistry and hydrography, as well as the ROV LUSO pilot team.
The fact that EMEPC is able to carry out these campaigns regularly and to have an increasingly experienced team of pilots, has allowed changes in ROV LUSO that meet the requested needs of scientists. This campaign launched a new skid developed in collaboration with CEiiA that allows for the collection of more samples and greater versatility during dives, as well as the installation of a high-definition camera operated by scientists. During the campaign, and after achieving our goals at the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the mission was aborted for technical reasons unrelated to EMEPC. The data collection in the seamounts to the south of the Azores was postponed.

Team of technical- scientific participants in the EMEPC / PEPC / Luso / 2016 campaign

EMEPC / PEPC / LUSO / 2015

The EMEPC / PEPC / LUSO / 2015 campaign took place between 25 May and 3 June, off Portugal and on board the NRP "Almirante Gago Coutinho", continuing the collection of data from the Portuguese deep sea using the ROV Luso started in 2008.
In addition to greater knowledge of the continental shelf and the Portuguese sea, the campaign's objectives were within the scope of the various EMEPC projects. In particular, the development of the Luso ROV system and the inventory of marine biodiversity in the framework of the M@rBis project should be mentioned. The dissemination and results of the campaign will be oriented towards its use in a school environment through the preparation of educational activities to be developed with the Kit do Mar project and integrated into the National Sea Information System (SNIMar).
The EMEPC / PEPC / LUSO / 2015 campaign was an opportunity to strengthen collaboration and partnerships with other institutions through the embarkation of technicians and / or researchers, allowing the execution of scientific and / or innovation programs. The first days of the campaign were focused on testing new technologies and materials for application in ROV LUSO developed with IST / ISR / LARSyS and CEiiA

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Team of technical- scientific participants in the EMEPC / PEPC / Luso / 2015 campaign

EMEPC / PEPC / LUSO / 2014

During the 2014 oceanographic campaign, which took place between May 27 and June 22, the main objective was to collect geological samples near the northern edge of the continental shelf, in the vicinity of the Maxwell Fracture Zone, near latitude 48ºN. Once again the expedition was carried out on board the NRP Almirante Gago Coutinho and the training period with the ROV Luso, took place off the Cape of São Vicente, followed by the traffic to Ponta Delgada, Azores. Similar to the campaigns carried out by EMEPC in previous years, a multidisciplinary team of several technicians and researchers was created with expertise in the areas of robotics, engineering, geology, biology and oceanography, in order to take advantage of the set of data and samples to be collected during the oceanographic campaign. The team also included researchers from different countries in the context of collaboration in the deep sea research area, namely, Israel and Cape Verde. The EMEPC team also welcomed a young researcher from Thailand who will receive training in the area of geology and oceanography, having been selected through the International Seabed Authority's training program for young researchers from developing countries.

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Team of technical and scientific participants in the EMEPC / PEPC / Luso / 2014 campaign

SUBVENT2 - 2014

The SUBVENT-2 (Leg Madeira) campaign was carried out between 4 and 10 April 2014 on board the Spanish research ship Sarmiento de Gamboa, with a view to acquiring data to support the proposal for the extension of the Continental Continental Platform of Portugal The SUBVENT-2 campaign resulted, once again, from technical-scientific cooperation between Portugal and Spain. Portuguese researchers from EMEPC participated in this campaign, and researchers from Instituto Geológico y Minero, Instituto Español participated in this campaign. of Oceanography, Universidad de Cádiz, and technicians from the Unidad de Tecnología Marina.The purpose of the Leg off Madeira was related to the investigation of the occurrence of mass movement processes along the slope of the island of Madeira and the abyssal plain data from a multi beam beam bath, high and medium resolution reflection seismic data were acquired.

Team of technical and scientific participants in the Subvent2 campaign

EMEPC / PEPC / LUSO / 2013

In 2013, the EMEPC oceanographic campaign took place between the 3rd of June and the 22nd of July, and its main objectives were the collection of geological samples for the Extension of the Continental Platform in the King's Through macrostructure, located on the NE edge of the platform extension area. continental, at latitude 43⁰N, as well as consolidating the autonomy of the Portuguese team of pilots and ROV technicians, which has been formed since 2008. This campaign also had a third LEG, which was also associated with the visit of the President of the Republic to the Savage Islands. In LEG 3, two dives were made, the first in the Selvagens islands and the second in the Banco do Gorringe to collect biological information within the scope of the M@rBis Project.

Framed in support of scientific research projects, EMEPC made available, for two days, both ROV Luso and its team of pilots to make dives in the Condor seamount in order to collect data and biological samples for the CARCACE project, this time under the coordination of Dr. Ana Colaço from IMAR, Azores.

Team of technical and scientific participants in the EMEPC / PEPC / Luso / 2013 campaign

EMEPC / PEPC / LUSO / 2012

The EMEPC oceanographic campaign in 2012, which took place between September 20 and October 6, had as main objective the collection of rock samples on the south edge of the Continental Continental Extension Area of Portugal, next to the Hayes Fracture Zone . However, still in Canhão de Setúbal, after the sea tests, ROV Luso and the EMEPC pilot team supported the CARCACE research project, under the coordination of Dr. Ana Hilário of the University of Aveiro, proceeding to collect cow bones that were at the bottom of the sea. Once again in the Azores, a ROV Luso dive was carried out in the Serreta submarine volcano, off the island of Terceira, to collect new rock samples as part of the collaboration with the TerRiftic Project led by Doctor Filipa Marques, currently developing his research at the University of Bergen, Norway.

During the campaign's LEG 1, at latitude 33⁰N, the team on board was confronted with the approach of Hurricane Nadine. This caused the sampling site to be abandoned, and the campaign migrated eastward in search of refuge in the Madeira archipelago. The campaign's objectives were thus redirected to collect data on various seamounts along the Madeira-Tore Elevation, far from the influence of the hurricane. Dives were made in the southern slope of Madeira Island and in the seamounts Siene, Josephine, Jo-sister, and Pico Pia with a significant collection of geology and biology samples.

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Team of technical- scientific participants in the EMEPC / PEPC / Luso / 2012 campaign

EMEPC / AZORES / LUSO / 2010

In 2010 EMEPC organized, in addition to the oceanographic campaign to collect data for the Continental Shelf Extension Project, the first M@rBis campaign to collect biological information in the Selvagens Islands. Both campaigns ran simultaneously between the 2nd and the 30th of June, with the EMEPC / Açores / Luso / 2010 campaign continuing until the 20th of August. In the first part, ROV Luso aboard the NRP Gago Coutinho followed the M@rBis campaign, making dives to collect biological information in the deepest areas of the Selvagens Islands.

After the M@rBis campaign, the ROV went to the Azores to do dives offshore Terceira Island and at the place called Fried Egg, where a particular structure was detected from the bathymetry obtained in other EMEPC campaigns. In this campaign, ROV Luso also dived into remote areas, located close to 45⁰N latitude and 41⁰W longitude to collect data for the Continental Platform Extension Proposal in the Altair and Milne seamounts.

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Team of technical- scientific participants in the EMEPC / PEPC / Luso / 2010 campaign

EMEPC / AZORES / LUSO / 2009

The importance of the Middle Atlantic Ridge and seamounts located south of the Azores Archipelago for the Continental Shelf Extension Project led the EMEPC oceanographic campaign in 2009, with the ROV Luso on board the NRP Gago Coutinho, to cover these areas again between the 7th of September and the 15th of November.

 

However, this 70-day campaign started with sea training off Setúbal, followed by a stop at the Gorringe Seamount, the Madeira island,and, finally, to the seamounts south of the Archipelago of the Azores, the islands of the central group of the Azores and the Middle Atlantic Ridge. In total, more than 4500 km (2430 M) were covered and 27 dives were made with the ROV Luso, including one in the Lucky Strike hydrothermal field and another in the one designated by Menez Gwen. It was in this campaign that the deepest dive of the Luso ROV took place, reaching 3250 meters deep in the Hirondelle Basin, located between the islands of São Miguel and Terceira.

Once again, and following EMEPC's objective of providing data to the scientific community within the scope of Marine Sciences and the study of the deep ocean, a multidisciplinary team was formed with researchers from national institutions in order to maximize the collection of information obtained from from the Luso ROV.

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Team of technical- scientific participants in the EMEPC / PEPC / Luso / 2009 campaign

EMEPC / AZORES / LUSO / G3 / 2008

The EMEPC oceanographic campaign carried out in 2008 took place between September 29 and November 28, on board the NRP Gago Coutinho. This campaign was particularly important because it was the first to use the ROV Luso. This equipment, unique in Portugal and acquired by EMEPC, allows it to reach 6000 m in depth and access the deepest areas of the Continental Platform Extension area, having opened up new perspectives for the campaigns promoted by EMEPC, as well as for the study of the ocean deep in Portugal. The high definition camera that collects images of the entire ROV path during the dive, both in the water column and on the seabed, allows a direct and safe observation of the seabed and monitor the selective collection process of geology samples and biology. In addition to sampling, it is also possible to adapt the ROV equipment to the needs of scientists on board and water samples, current information and oceanography data, among others, can be collected.

During this campaign, which lasted 61 days, there was an initial training phase with the ROV followed by five LEGs in which a large part of the Continental Shelf Extension area was visited, namely between Mainland Portugal, Josephine Submarine Mount, the Hirondelle Basin , Terceira island and in particular the Serreta submarine volcano area and the seamounts to the south of the Azores, on a route of more than 4000 km (2160 M).

Team of technical and scientific participants in the EMEPC / Açores / G3 / 2008 campaign

ESPOR 2008

The ESPOR08 campaign - Joint scientific study of Spain and PORtugal for the Extension of the Continental Shelf on the bank of Banco da Galicia, took place between 12 and 19 November 2008 on board the Spanish research ship Hespérides. This campaign resulted from a technical-scientific cooperation agreement between Portugal and Spain aimed at coordinating the respective continental shelf extension projects. In this context, researchers from institutions from both countries were involved, with Portugal being represented by EMEPC, and Spain by the Instituto Geológico y Minero, Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina, Instituto Español de Oceanografia and Unidad de Tecnología Marina. The ESPOR 08 campaign aimed to investigate the nature and deep structure of the continental margin in the Banco de Galicia region, as well as its extension to the west. This objective was achieved by carrying out a refractive seismic line using 9 seismographs installed on the seabed (OBS, Ocean Bottom Sismograph). In this campaign, data from multibeam bathymetry, high resolution reflection seismic and gravimetry were also acquired.

Team of technical and scientific participants in the ESPOR2008 campaign

EMEPC / G3 / AZORES / 2007

EMEPC’s team first oceanographic campaign (15 May to 22 June 2007), had the goal to collect geological samples from the seabed. The area chosen for this campaign was located between the islands of the Azores archipelago at latitude 38ºN and Great Meteor Seamount at latitude 29ºN. In this vast area, 38 dredging operations were carried out on board the ship SJ Kommandor Jack with the collection of about 200 samples. The dredging target sites were, in the Azores region, the Hirondelle Basin and the underwater slopes of Terceira and São Jorge islands, and further south, the eastern tip of the Oceanographer Fracture Zone, the southern edge of the Azores Platform and the seamounts Atlantis, Plato, Irving, Hyeres and Great Meteor. In addition to the presence of several geologists, a multidisciplinary team of researchers from several national and international institutions was formed, in order to maximize the collection of information during the campaign in various research areas, which allowed the collection of sediments through gravity corers, obtaining hydrography, gravimetry, magnetism, biology, microbiology and oceanography data.

Team of technical and scientific participants in the EMEPC / G3 / Azores / 2007 campaign

PORTUGAL SEISMIC SURVEY - 2006

In 2006 EMEPC carried out its first oceanographic campaign, with the aim of collecting data on the soil and subsoil of the seabed off Mainland Portugal and west of Madeira Island, to include in the rationale for the Continental Platform Extension Proposal. Data was collected on multichannel reflection seismic system, which implied the use of the Russian R / V Akademik Shatskiy ship equipped with 5700 cm3 airguns and streamers of around 8000 m in length. Between 3 June and 12 July 2006, about 3000 km (1620 nm) were covered and 9 seismic lines were colected out off mainland Portugal and west of the island of Madeira.

COOPERATION IN CAMPAIGNS

The operational capacity of EMEPC allows it to expand the possibilities of carrying out oceanographic campaigns in collaboration with institutions in other countries, whether public or private.

In 2014, in collaboration with Spanish institutions, two ROV Luso missions were carried out on board the Spanish oceanographic vessel Sarmiento de Gamboa.

TAGUSMAG CAMPAIGN

The TAGUSMAG oceanographic campaign began between 8 and 20 October 2020, and the first in a series of high-resolution magnetic surveys in the Tagus delta area, from Oeiras to Guincho, up to a distance of about 13 km from the coast. A campaign by IPMA - Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera in collaboration with EMEPC.
EMEPC collaborated by providing its vessel Selvagem Grande and its technical team, as well as the magnetometer that will allow the execution of the first part of this survey.

This survey will continue in the near future.

 

know more

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Selvagem Grande Vessel and Technical Team in the Tagusmag campaign

EXPLOSEA CAMPAIGN

Between February 9th and March 19th, 2019, EMEPC memberswere in Antarctica to participate in the EXPLOSEA campaign, within the scope of the existing collaboration between EMEPC and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (CSIC / IGME).

The Antarctic campaign took place on board the Spanish ship BIO Hespérides (A33), off the Decepcion and Livingston Islands, in the South Shetland archipelago.
The objective of the EXPLOSEA project is focused on the study of underwater emissions associated with volcanism, to which EMEPC contributed, in addition to specialized equipment, with experience and technical knowledge in the operation of such equipment for data collection. Numerous CTD profiles (conductivity, temperature and depth), dredgers, water samples were collected and high resolution videos were recorded from the study areas.
It was an enriching experience and full of learning, because the operational challenges were faced in a more extreme environment, with more rigid rules and procedures that forced an adaptation, even for those who already have some oceanographic campaigns in their curriculum.
Official project page: http://www.igme.es/explosea/index.html

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Team of technical and scientific participants in the Explosea1 campaign

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Team of technical and scientific participants in the Explosea1 campaign

ALSSOMAR CAMPAIGN

Between August 29 and September 7, 2019, a team fom the  of Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf (EMEPC), collaborated in an oceanographic campaign within the scope of the ALSSOMAR research project. Collaboration achieved through the participation of ROV Luso and its team of pilots, to carry out the planned oceanographic operations, and represented yet another opportunity for technical-scientific cooperation between Portugal and Spain.

The campaign took place on board the ship B / O Sarmiento de Gamboa, off the Alborán Sea, namely in the Cannon of Motril and Carchuna. The objective of the project was to study the upper part of a continental margin (platform and embankment) in an integrated way from a source-sink perspective and transfer / storage of sediments.

The campaign was coordinated by the Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (IACT), which was joined by researchers and technicians from several entities in addition to EMEPC, namely:

  • IEO: Instituto Español de Oceanografía;

  • HMI: Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina;

  • UALG: University of Algarve (Portugal);

  • UB: Universidad de Barcelona;

  • UGR: Universidad de Granada;

  • ULPGC: Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria;

  • UTM: Marina de CSIC Technology Unit;

During the campaign ROV dives were carried out between 250m and 730m in depth, which allowed the collection of high definition images, data from multiple physical-chemical parameters of the marine environment and samples of various types (geological, biological, sediments and water) .

 

More information:

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Team of technical and scientific participants in the Explosea1 campaign

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Team of technical and scientific participants in the Explosea1 campaign

OOM2018 CAMPAIGN

The Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf (EMEPC) collaborated in the Oceanographic Campaign OOM-2018 of the Madeira Ocean Observatory on board the NRP Almirante Gago Coutinho of the Hydrographic Institute . OOM researchers embarked to collect opportunistic oceanographic data between the island of Madeira and the Savage Islands . The records were made with the ADCP and uCTD equipment, which were operated by EMEPC technicians. After 1840 miles traveled and more than 715 hours of navigation, the hydrographic ship Almirante Gago Coutinho ended its mission in Madeira, where it had been since 29 June. During this period, the ship carried out various scientific activities in collaboration with the Madeira Ocean Observatory, of which the EMEPC LUSO ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) operations stand out, which enabled the discovery of a coral garden to the south of the island. da Madeira in the Ribeira Brava area, and oceanographic surveys to study the atmosphere-ocean interaction on the south coast of Madeira.

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ROV Pilot Team at the OOM 2018 Campaign

BLUE OCEAN EXPEDITION - 2018

Within the scope of the Oceano Azul scientific expedition, a new hydrothermal field was discovered in the Azores. Located at a depth of 570 meters, on the Giant Seamount, 60 miles from the island of Faial, this new hydrothermal field “Luso” is an area of high biological and mineral wealth.

It is the first time that an expedition organized by a Portuguese institution, led by Portuguese scientists and using ships and national means, locates a hydrothermal field in deep waters in our maritime territory.

The expedition is organized by the Blue Ocean Foundation in partnership with the Waitt Foundation and the National Geographic Pristine Seas , and in collaboration with the Portuguese Navy through the Hydrographic Institute , the Azores Regional Government and the Task Group for the Extension Platform Continental (EMEPC) with the ROV "LUSO" . This is one of the most complete expeditions carried out in national waters, and aims to explore areas still little known in the Azores to promote marine conservation under the "Blue Azores" program.

 

Scientists from several national research centers, such as IMAR , MARE , CCMAR , CIBIO and the University of the Azores , and internationals from the University of Hawaii , the University of California at Santa Barbara , the University of Western Australia , participate in the expedition. and CSIC , IEO and Museu do Mar de Ceuta in Spain.

See the campaign final report HERE

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Chimney of the new field where hydrothermal activity is visible.

[Image courtesy of ROV "LUSO" Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf]

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Giant seamount map (top right) showing the separation between the American and European plates

[Image provided by the Portuguese Navy Hydrographic Institute]

ROV dive "LUSO" seen aft of the hydrographic ship NRP "Almirante Gago Coutinho"

[Image courtesy of the Oceano Azul Foundation by Nuno Sá]

PES CAMPAIGN

From the 31st of May to the 5th of June, the oceanographic PES campaign was carried out on board the Sarmiento de Gamboa Research Ship. The campaign was part of the PES Research project: Pockmarks and fluid escape structures in Esporão da Estremadura: implications for regional geology, biology and petroleum systems, with FCT funding (PTDC / GEO-FIQ / 5162/2014). This cruise started in Vigo on 31 May and returned to Lisbon on 5 June. The campaign was coordinated by IPMA with the collaboration of the Portuguese Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf (EMEPC), the University of Aveiro and the Instituto Superior Técnico.
During this campaign, 270 nautical miles of multibeam bathymetry, 45 nautical miles of multi-channel reflection seismic (with two different systems and complementary resolutions) were acquired, 21 sampling stations and 1 dive with ROV Luso (EMEPC).

New occurrences of pockmarks were identified in Esporão da Estremadura and, the data collected, will allow to characterize the activity of these structures. This campaign also made it possible to successfully conduct sea trials of the AUV Medusa, developed under the MEDUSA DEEP SEA project (medusadeepsea.com).

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Team of technical and scientific participants in the PES campaign

Scientific work in the PES campaign

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MOWER14-LEG1 CAMPAIGN

The MOWER14 Leg 1 campaign was carried out in the Gulf of Cadiz area and within the framework of the Spanish research project with the same name, between 1 and 12 September 2014 on board the Spanish research ship Sarmiento de Gamboa. The main objective of this project is to study the erosive aspects and sandy deposits associated with Mediterranean Water throughout Iberia, and their paleoceanographic, sedimentary and economic implications. After the success of the SUBVENT-2 campaign, the realization of the MOWER14 Leg 1 campaign represented yet another opportunity for technical-scientific cooperation between Portugal and Spain, using the EMEPC Luso ROV. In addition to the ROV Luso pilots, researchers from different countries and institutions, including Portugal, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, participated in this campaign. The MOWER14 Leg 1 campaign had the goal to investigate the morphology and nature of the sedimentary cover of the channels cut by the circulation of Mediterranean Water, also known as MOW (Mediterranean Outflow Water). ROV Luso performed several dives,, collecting biological samples, sediments and rock.

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Team of technical and scientific participants in the Mower14 campaign

Spanish research ship Sarmiento de Gamboa, where MOWER campaigns were carried out in 2014

Sampling performed by ROV LUSO in the MOWER campaign

SUBVENT-LEG2 CAMPAIGN

Between the 9th of March and the 13th of April 2014, the SUBVENT-2 campaign took place, a joint seabed exploration expedition with the ROV Luso that made it possible to collect images of the deep seabed of the Gulf of Cadiz, the Canaries and Madeira. On board the Spanish oceanographic vessel “Sarmiento de Gamboa”, this expedition resulted from scientific cooperation between Portugal and Spain and had as main objective to sample and analyze the mud volcanoes existing in the Gulf of Cadiz between 1,000 and more than 3,000 meters in depth. In the Canary Islands, underwater images of all volcanic relief formed during the last eruption off the island of El Hierro beginning in late 2011 were also collected.

Team of technical and scientific participants in the Subvent 2 campaign

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Team of technical and scientific participants in the Subvent 2 campaign