Developing a Framework
AlterEco will undertake a sustained experiment in an area that displays typical characteristics of the dominant processes driving common ecosystem functioning in UK shelf seas. To address inter-annual, seasonal and baseline characteristics this observational campaign will cover a winter-to-winter period, providing repeat transects of an area in the North Sea that has been previously identified to undergo seasonally varying conditions and includes both permanently and periodically mixed states, high levels of biological productivity and regions experiencing seasonal oxygen depletion.
AlterEco uses a modular framework based on small fleets of submarine and surface autonomous vehicles. This observational framework will be combined with other available North Sea data to provide atmosphere-thru-ocean coverage of physical and chemical conditions to enable understanding of mesoscale (100-150 km) to sub-mesoscale (100s of meters) processes in shelf seas.