Structuring the French Community

In terms of structuring the earth and ocean science national community, the project will bring together 11 national research institutions; three national research infrastructures (RESIF, EMSO, ILICO) and the Mayotte volcanological and seismological network (REVOSIMA):

  • The mobile Equipment for submarine geodesy and seismology (Elements 1 to 4) will be integrated into the RESIF-EPOS Research Infrastructure. The umbrella of EPOS (European Plate Observing System) will ensure data standardization and systems inter-operability at the international level.
  • The Mayotte cabled observatory will be proposed as one of the "Regional Facilities" of EMSO-FR (French component of EMSO) and managed in a close coordination with REVOSIMA. It will develop innovative approaches for submarine monitoring of volcanological processes, to the benefit of other French seismo-volcanological observatories on the islands of La Réunion, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.
  • The project as a whole will enable spatially continuous observations across the shore line, a crucial issue when: the source of hazard is located offshore, for new studies about the coastline dynamics by providing sensors to quantify the vertical ground motion, and for the seal-level evolution for nearshore data collection. These goals are in full coherence with those of the ILICO infrastructure and services.

Rather than building a new infrastructure, our project has, in essence, vocation to enhance the capabilities of existing national infrastructures, while providing new equipment and a new framework for these existing infrastructures to work together toward common research goals, as listed here after:

  • The pools of mobile geophysical instruments will represent an extension at sea of the national network of the RESIF-EPOS Research Infrastructure (French component of the European infrastructure EPOS (European Plate Observatory System). The Mayotte cabled observatory will be proposed as one of the "Regional Facilities" of the EMSO-FR infrastructure (French component of the European infrastructure EMSO) and managed in full coordination with REVOSIMA.
  • By bringing along significant developments for the monitoring of solid earth processes in the oceans, the project will structure emerging communities of researchers in this area, while strengthening the links between the on land and marine geophysical communities. RESIF-EPOS has managed to structure the terrestrial community in the field of seismology and geodesy over the last decade. The project will allow to improve the organization of the community involved in marine research for the coming decade, by fostering joint experiments, including temporary deployments at sea and long-term observation, sharing of expertise, and standardizing data and data flow.
  • The Mayotte cabled observatory will strengthen the unique collaboration initiated in May 2018 between several institutions involved in the initiative coordinated by REVOSIMA to monitor the seismo-volcanic crisis (BRGM, IPG Paris, IPG Strasbourg, IGN, OSU Clermont-Ferrand, Ifremer, CUFR Mayotte, SHOM, La Réunion University, GET-OMP Toulouse, La Rochelle University, IsTerre). It will develop innovative monitoring approaches for submarine monitoring of volcanological processes, to the benefit of other French seismological and volcanological observatories (OSV) in La Réunion, Guadeloupe and Martinique.
  • The project as a whole will contribute to the acquisition of spatially continuous observations across the shoreline, with as little loss of information as possible, when approaching the coasts- which can prove to be essential when the source of the processes under study is located offshore. This will provide the ILICO infrastructure with data necessary to better quantify processes such as vertical ground motions and changes in sea level.
  • The project will also open up new research opportunities in physical, chemical and biological ocean sciences, and stimulate interdisciplinary approaches between these disciplines and solid earth sciences. Regarding these inter and multidisciplinary aspects, the project will build upon the experience of the user communities, of two of its associated infrastructures: EMSO with a strong experience in the operation of fixed-point multidisciplinary seafloor and water column observatories, and ILICO, with its focus on interdisciplinary processes in coastal areas. With new observation capabilities at sea, it will also provide opportunities for new researches using already existing geodetic and seismological infrastructures on land.
  • For instance, the project will extend at sea the French national geodetic network RENAG (REseau NAtional GNSS permanent), particularly in the Ligurian Sea near the  EMSO-LIGURE measurement site of Observatory Service Dyfamed (Dynamics of Atmospheric Fluxes in the MEDiterranean sea) where methodological tests will be performed to improve GNSS/A measurements.
  • The project will also contribute to foster the development of the private sector involved in sub-marine instrumentation. Past fruitful interactions and discussions with industry in France (e.g. IXBLUE, NKE, SERCEL, RBR, OSEAN, IDIL, MAPPEM, Febusoptics, etc.) and abroad (e.g. KUM, Sonardyme, Paroscientific, KONGSBERG, SILIXIA, etc.) led to new developments like new acoustic beacons for high accuracy underwater positioning and navigation. We anticipate that new industrial applications can arise from our project, more specifically on the research & development part on fiber optics technologies. Indeed, prototypes for measuring deformation using long optical fibers are presently under development in the laboratories of MARMOR’s partners, in partnership with private companies, e.g.: at ISTERRE / RSS-Grenoble; GEOAZUR / Sigmaworks; Géosciences Océan /IDIL. In addition, industrial collaborations conducted with private labs over the last ten years have led to the development of opto-mechanical sensors, e.g.: seismometers (through IPGP/ESEO partnership) and inclinometers (through ENS/Aquitaine Electronics partnership). The project offers promising perspectives for submarine applications and to strengthen public-private partnerships in two ways:
    • for off-the-shelf equipment, we will call for tenders and undertake constructive dialogue with selected specialized companies to adapt the equipment to our particular needs.
    • specific action will be devoted to innovation in partnership with industry (see Element 4).