ECOMAR is a £2 million UK project aimed at understanding how physical and biogeochemical factors influence the distributions and structure of deep-sea communities, focusing on the fauna of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean. The map shows a central box where the ECOMAR research is focused. The three shaded boxes are the study areas of the MAR-ECO project.

The project is focusing it’s sampling on four sites in different environmental settings. The four sites are located on either side of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and to the north and south of the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone (CGFZ).

A close up of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge around the region of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone (CGFZ). There are two sampling sites to the north and two to the south of the CGFZ.

The overall objective of ECOMAR are: 1) to determine the local and regional influence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge as a physical structure on the ecology of the North Atlantic Basin in terms of production, biomass and biodiversity from the surface to the deep-sea floor, and 2) to use these data to infer the effects of mid ocean ridges on the global ocean.

ECOMAR comprises six different workpackages managed by seven different research institues: 1) Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, 2) Scottish Association of Marine Science, Oban, 3) National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, 4) Durham University, 5) University of St Andrews, 6) Plymouth Marine Laboratory and 7) Newcastle University.  

ECOMAR areas of research

ECOMAR is a NERC funded element of MAR-ECO : a field project of the Census of Marine Life.

For more information on ECOMAR please click here.

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