OMEX II-I Synthesis of OMEX I Data : Project Description

The Objectives of the OMEX II-I Phase, which consisted of 5 subprojects, were first to improve the outputs from OMEX I Phase (mainly focused on the Goban Spur, NW Gulf of Biscay), and secondly to prepare the OMEX II-II Phase (at the Iberian Margin). Since it is a synthesis and preparatory period, this phase is sometimes named the "Bridging Phase".


The overall aim of the OMEX I Phase was to determine physically-controlled advective and diffusive transports and fluxes in varied shelf-edge contexts. During this OMEX II-I Bridging Phase, the foci were at first, the synthesis of all information for the Goban Spur, in order to devise an adequate representation of the physics as a basis for biogeochemical models and the interpretation of water-column and benthic distributions, and secondly to establish some estimates for physical processes within the north-west Iberian Margin in preparation for OMEX II-II.


Biological Processes

The particular objectives of this subproject, for margin areas (Goban Spur, Iberian Margin and North Norwegian Shelf) were to quantify biologically-mediated fluxes at ocean margins with regard to cross-slope and along-slope exchanges and vertical fluxes of biogenic matter, and to develop, parameterise and test numerical ecological models for slope ecosystems and resulting fluxes of biogenic matter.


Biogeochemical Cycles

The broad objective of the Biogeochemical Cycles Subproject of OMEX I was to characterise, budget and track the biogeochemical impact of microbial, terrestrial and marine particles on the flow of carbon, nutrients and bioreactive elements in the water column of the NW European Shelf at the Goban Spur. During the OMEX II-I Bridging Phase the foci were first to integrate components of carbon and nitrogen processes to complete budgets for the Goban Spur, then to calibrate models of carbon and nitrogen flows using biogeochemical budgets, and finally to refine key operational questions and the necessary work programme and tasks required for investigating fluxes within the Iberian Margin for OMEX II-II.


Benthic Processes

The overall objectives during OMEX I were to quantify particle fluxes at the ocean margins and to define the transporting and depositional processes. During the OMEX II-I Bridging Phase, the specific objectives of the Benthic Processes subproject were to intercalibrate results of field and laboratory measurements obtained during OMEX I and to integrate the parameters governing benthic processes and ecology along shelf-slope margin transects. The integrated results of benthic processes were integrated within models describing the physical, biogeochemical, biological and sedimentological processes at ocean margin boundaries in order to allow a more refined assessment of fluxes and mass balances at the Goban Spur study area and to define key questions about benthic processes and ecology to be addressed within OMEX II-II.


Carbon Cycling and Biogases

The objective of this subproject with the OMEX I Phase was to quantify and to model the exchange of carbon and biogases across the air-sea interface, mainly within the Goban Spur area. OMEX II-I Phase was devised in order to quantify the net invasion of anthropogenic carbon dioxide into water, to quantify and to model the water-column concentrations and the air-sea exchanges specifically for methane, carbon dioxide, dimethyl sulphide. The final aim was to integrate the subproject results with those from all other subprojects.



In order to complement and enhance the resulting outputs in the 5 scientific subprojects, an additional subproject was defined and named "Co-ordination".   The objectives were first, to facilitate the administrative management, and information exchanges and dissemination among the representatives from the European Commission, the subproject leaders and all the participants, and secondly to organise the project planning and the co-ordination among the subproject leaders and establish contacts with other relevant international or national programmes.


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Updated : 11 September 2003,  Feedback :