MOMAR Service Activities


SA Number: 14.2

Name of the SA:  MOMAR – EMSO-Azores node

Central North Atlantic deep sea hydrothermal ecosystem observation: seismic, acoustic and geodetic data

Institute: IPGP Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris

Name: Mathilde Cannat

Short SA Description: The service focuses on geophysically-oriented data (seismic event detection, and seafloor pressure) collected and transmitted in near-real time by the EMSO-Azores (also called “MoMAR”) observatory. It includes the free online access to these data, online visualization tools in the form of graphs (data versus time), and the provision of geological and geophysical background data information (bathymetric maps, photomosaics of the seafloor, and a catalogue of relocated seismicity).

SA Description:

The MoMAR-EMSO-Azores observatory is set on a volcano, at the axis of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Its purpose is to acquire time-series data to better understand ecosystem dynamics at mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal vents. Fluid fluxes that feed these ecosystems are controlled by km-scale hydrothermal systems powered by volcanic heat, by smaller-scale near-surface fluid circulations and mixing between seawater and hydrothermal fluids, and by water column dynamics.

This SA concerns the geophysical component of the observatory, comprised of a seismometer and two pressure gauges and installed at the volcano summit, within 200 m of the vents. It provides near real time information on telluric events (earthquakes and vertical motion of the seafloor) at the volcano, which may affect the hydrothermal circulation and therefore impact the associated ecosystem. A catalogue of detected seismic events, including information on their apparent local magnitude, and the pressure and temperature data from the pressure gauges are sent to shore every 6 hours via the buoyed  observatory infrastructure.

The time series constituted through the near real time transmission from previous years is down loadable at any time. For example for 2015, the dataset contains the real-time data acquired from the EMSO-Azores observatory since April 2015. It is daily updated. Data are from 11 types of instruments: Geodesic GPS, Iridium GPS modem, Meteorological station, Ocean Bottom Seismometer, Optode oxygen sensor, Pressure gauges (JP), Turbidity sensor, Connected in-Situ Instrumented Colonization System (CISICS) and Communication and Storage Front-end (COSTOF). This data is available through:

The seismometer full data is stored locally and collected during yearly maintenance cruises is under quality check according to common EPOS/EMSO standard and will be available early 2017.




Description: The “SeaMon West” monitoring station on-board RV Pourquoi Pas? prior to redeployment at the MoMAR-EMSO-Azores buoyed observatory in april 2015. The seismometer (white instrument with handle in the forefront) is ready to be installed on the seafloor by the ROV. One of the two pressure probes is attached to the station frame on the right  of the picture. The titanium containers hold the electronics and battery for data collection and transmission. Transmission is by acoustic to a buoy, then satellite.



Cannat Mathilde, Sarradin Pierre-Marie, Blandin Jerome, Ballu Valerie, Barreyre Thibaut, Chavagnac Valerie, Colaco Ana, Crawford Wayne, Daniel Romuald, Escartin Javier, Legrand Julien, Matabos Marjolaine, Rommevaux Celine, Roullet Guillaume, Reverdin Gilles, Sarrazin Jozee (2016). EMSO-Azores : Monitoring seafloor and water column processes at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Fix03 – Project Newsletter. Service Activities Special, 3(1), 11. Open Access version :

Best Mairi M. R., Favali Paolo, Beranzoli Laura, Blandin Jerome, Cagatay Namik M., Cannat Mathilde, Jose Danobeitia Juan, Delory Eric, De Miranda Jorge M. A., Del Rio Fernandez Joaquin, De Stigter Henko, Gillooly Mick, Grant Fiona, Hall Per O. J., Hartman Susan, Hernandez-Brito Joaquin, Lanteri Nadine, Mienert Juergen, Oaie Gheorge, Piera Jaume, Radulescu Vlad, Rolin Jean-Francois, Ruhl Henry A., Waldmann Christoph (2016). The EMSO-ERIC Pan-European Consortium: Data Benefits and Lessons Learned as the Legal Entity Forms. Marine Technology Society Journal, 50(3), 8-15.

Plum Christoph, Pradillon Florence, Fujiwara Yoshihiro, Sarrazin Jozee Copepod colonization of organic and inorganic substrata at a deep-sea hydrothermal vent site on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography IN PRESS.

Laes-Huon Agathe, Cathalot Cecile, Legrand Julien, Tanguy Virginie, Sarradin Pierre-Marie (2016). Long-Term In Situ Survey of Reactive Iron Concentrations at the EMSO-Azores Observatory. Ieee Journal Of Oceanic Engineering, 41(4), 744-752.

Husson Berengere, Sarradin Pierre-Marie, Zeppilli Daniela, Sarrazin Jozee Picturing thermal niches and biomass of hydrothermal vent species. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography IN PRESS.

Khripounoff Alexis, Caprais Jean-Claude, Decker Carole, Le Bruhec J, Noel Philippe, Husson Berengere Respiration of bivalves from three different deep-sea areas: cold seeps, hydrothermal vents and organic carbon-rich sediments. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography IN PRESS.

Loubrieu Thomas, Detoc Jerome, Azelmat Hamza, Thorel Arnaud (2016). Sensor Nanny. Data management services for marine observation operators. EGU 2016 – European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016. 17?22 April 2016, Austria.

Reports to policy makers on the exploitation of marine mineral ressources:

Alix Anne-Sophie, Farcouli Maud, Fouquet Yves, Lacroix Denis, Le Gall Morgane, Mengoni Julien, Menot Lenaick, Pelleter Ewan, Sarradin Pierre-Marie, Ybert Sebastien (2016). Ressources Minérales Marines. Rapport de Veille. Convention référence 16/1212524 entre le Ministère de l’Environnement, de l’Energie et de la Mer et l’Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer  Action 5.4.

Fouquet Yves, Alix Anne-Sophie, Farcouli Maud, Lacroix Denis, Le Gall Morgane, Mengoni Julien, Menot Lenaick, Pelleter Ewan, Sarradin Pierre-Marie, Ybert Sebastien (2016). Ressources Minérales Marines. Rapport de Veille.