European Sea Floor Observatory Network (ESONET)
ESONET is a proposed sub sea component of the European GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) to provide strategic long term monitoring capability in geophysics, geotechnics, chemistry, biochemistry, oceanography, biology and fisheries. To provide representative sampling around Europe 10 regional networks are proposed in contrasting oceanographic regions:
- Arctic - Arctic Ocean
- Norwegian margin - Atlantic Ocean
- Nordic Seas - Atlantic Ocean
- Porcupine/Celtic -Atlantic Ocean
- Azores - Atlantic Ocean
- Iberian Margin - Atlantic Ocean
- Ligurian - Mediterranean Sea
- East Sicily - Mediterranean Sea
- Hellenic - Mediterranean Sea
- Black Sea
In addition, a mobile response observatory will be available for rapid deployment in areas of anthropogenic or natural disasters to provide data for environment management and government agencies.
Total system will comprise approximately 5000km of fibre optic sub sea cables linking observatories to the land via junction box terminations on the sea floor. The cables will provide power to observatory instruments and two-way real-time data telemetry capability using IP protocols. A phased development is proposed from use of conventional autonomous or satellite telemetry observatories on the key sites to intergration of a fully cabled system. Each network will be commissioned and managed by a regional legal person (RLP) who will be members of the ESONET federation. Users will be able to deploy observatories around Europe linked to the junction boxes. The ESONET federation will oversee standards, data management and co-ordinate observatory deployment. Data will be interfaced to national and international data centres.
The likely cost of the subsea network infrastructure is €130-220M.
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