Project Description

Nordic Seas


Nordic Seas will establish, at the newly discovered hydrothermal Fåvne vent field, a fixed-point seabed-water-column-coupled and wireless observatory with a multidisciplinary approach – from geophysics and physical oceanography to ecology and microbiology. Fåvne vent field is an ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal system located on the ultra-slow spreading Mohn’s ridge where the oceanographic front between the cold waters in the Greenland Sea and the warm waters in the Norwegian Sea meet. It is primarily directed at understanding the dynamics and magnitude of the coupling between the hydrothermal plume, rough bathymetry and oceanographic processes and its impact on the biosphere and surrounding water masses in the Nordic Seas.

EMSO scientific disciplines: geosciences, physical oceanography, biogeochemistry, marine ecology (planned)

Credit: Thibaut Barreyre (distributed via

Credit: Thibaut Barreyre (distributed via

General information

Location: Norwegian Sea, Greenland Sea, Iceland Sea, Fram Strait
Main scientific disciplines:
physical oceanography, chemical oceanography, geosciences

Distance from land: 325 NM – 600 km from western coast of Norway
Max water depth: 3050 m
Date 1st deployment: Summer 2022
Supported by: Research Council of Norway, Norway
Operated by: University of Bergen
Website:  Link Nordic Seas
Status: in development (update date – February, 2021)
Regional Team Leader: Name, Institution (email address)

Credit: Thibaut Barreyre (EMSO-Mohn, NorEMSO)

Credit: Thibaut Barreyre (Nordic Seas, NorEMSO)

Scientific objectives

Understand the dynamical coupling and feedbacks between the hydrothermal plume with crustal and oceanographic phenomena to quantify i) overall energy and matter fluxes transferred from the Earth System into the overlying Ocean and ii) how it disperses in an oceanographic front over the Mohn’s Ridge.

Description of the infrastructure

The observatory is currently in development and is scheduled for deployment in summer 2022. It will be composed of one deep-ocean water-column mooring coupled with a seafloor node, and of a transmission buoy that communicates acoustically with the seafloor station and relays data (hydrothermal, background seawater and oceanographic properties -e.g., pressure, temperature, turbidity, current-, and system status) via satellite to the EMSO data center hosted at the University of Bergen, Norway. The observatory will be complemented with autonomous seafloor instruments, e.g. bio-colonisators collecting microbial and bacterial life associated with those unique environments and additional exit-fluid temperature probes.