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 Motion and Commotion at Great Meteor Seamount Project

Project Title: Motion and Commotion at Great Meteor Seamount


Seamounts host unique habitats and hotspots of marine life in remote areas with otherwise low productivity and biodiversity. They generate energetic internal waves and create vigorous mixing, enhancing productivity, biomass and biodiversity. Seamounts interact with the surrounding currents and alter ocean conditions locally and globally. The interest about this unique habitats have increased over the past decades, but despite recent advances, a mechanistic and quantitative understanding of seamount ecosystem dynamics at small spatial and temporal scales is still in its infancy and is largely based on observations from only few locations. The combination between modern hydrodynamic models with high resolution maps of the ocean seafloor provides an unprecedented opportunity to test important questions on seamount ecosystem dynamics such as:

  1. Seamount biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics thrive in areas of intense mixing

  2. New classes of physical proxies predict hotspots of mixing and biodiversity in the deep sea

  3. New physical proxies such as energy dissipation rate can be linked to habitat suitability and distribution of benthic communities

  4. Modern hydrodynamic models and high resolution seafloor maps are vital tools to create an improved mechanistic understanding of seamount ecosystem dynamics.

Our aim is to develop a high-resolution hydrodynamic model capable of providing a better mechanistic understanding of organic matter pathways and tidal energy cascade at Great Meteor Seamount.


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