OMEX I 1993 - 1996

OMEX I Scientific Objectives


The aim of the Ocean Margin EXchange (OMEX) project was to gain a better understanding of the physical, chemical, biological and sedimentological processes occurring at the ocean margin of the European continental shelf in order to quantify fluxes of energy and matter across this boundary.

The objective was to provide a more accurate picture of the biogeochemical interactions between the coastal zone and the open ocean. This information is essential for the development of predictive models required to evaluate the response of the shelf and slope area to global environmental changes.

The coastal area with its enhanced productivity and strong influence from continental input is an important source of dissolved and particulate matter for the open ocean. On the other hand, deep ocean waters, rich in nutrients and high in dissolved trace elements, are transferred across the shelf edge and help to sustain the high productivity of biota in the coastal zone and shelf seas. The quantification of fluxes across the ocean margins is a fundamental requirement for the evaluation of the budgets of carbon, nutrients and trace elements between the continents, the coastal zone and the open ocean.


Processes controlling the carbon cycle at the Ocean Margin (R. Wollast)


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