Work programme

Work programme and Work Package structure of EMS FORE

To successfully address the scientific targets of EMS FORE, we have structured EMS FORE around one management/outreach and 4 interlinked scientific work packages (WPs), that comprise the core themes and objectives of the International Helmholtz Laboratory. The overall structure of the WPs and their information lines are shown in Fig. 1. Whilst WP1 will undertake overall management and outreach/training activities, WP4 is essential in applying the observational data for improved model parameterization and validation and projections of future states of the EMS under various climate scenarios.

The WP 1 (Management/Outreach and Training), headed by GEOMAR, will coordinate and manage the overall activities of EMS FORE. Within WP1 the decision-making body of EMS FORE, namely the supervisory board, will be organized. The supervisory board members will consist of one person per partner per WP (see Table 1). The supervisory board will be chaired by E. Achterberg and co-chaired by the international partner coordinator I.Berman-Frank. Sub-boards for specific tasks, such as local coordination with other EMS partnerships, education or dissemination, will be implemented by the supervisory board. A project manager and the GEOMAR administration will manage joint EMS FORE activities and the HGF funding contribution.

In WP2 (Water column processes), co-headed by GEOMAR and HAIFA, the consortium’s expertise and resources for observing biological and chemical processes will be exploited to improve parameterization of models employed by WP4. WP2 will investigate how the processes that determine marine productivity, ecosystem structure and function, and subsequent organic matter export from surface to depth, are regulated in the EMS. The EMS has many of the key characteristics of mid-ocean gyres that are important in regulating the biosphere. The EMS is subject to stochastic processes (e.g. Nile turnoff, jellyfish falls), dustevents and gradual anthropogenically-induced changes. (e.g. acidification, warming). This makes the EMS an ideal natural laboratory to understand the biogeochemical functioning of, and anthropogenic impacts on, subtropical gyre systems globally, and how anthropogenic activities will impact these systems globally.

In WP3 (Seafloor processes and sedimentary record), headed by HAIFA, the expertise on seafloor sediments and biogeochemical processes, and benthic environments is bundled. The EMS is an ocean region that has been dramatically affected in recent geological and historical past by natural climate change. WP3 will exploit this known sensitivity to past climate change and investigate their impacts based on the recent sedimentary record, benthic environment and other relevant historical samples to elucidate key processes of recent climate and environmental changes. WP3 will focus on the inter-relation between climatic and anthropogenic driven changes with changes in the seafloor efflux of methane and other benthic fluxes.

In WP4 (Modelling), headed by GEOMAR, we will use an optimality-based plankton-ecosystem model to analyze the potential of plankton communities to cope with gradual climate changes and extreme events by means of adaptive changes. The model comprises optimality-based descriptions of phytoplankton physiology and zooplankton behavior, allowing for variable C:N:P:Chl stoichiometry in primary production and particulate and dissolved organic matter. The model is implemented for off-line use and can be used in conjunction with existing physical models of the Mediterranean Sea to drive the 1D simulations.

WP5 (Technology development and application), co-headed by GEOMAR and HAIFA, will utilize novel technological approaches to support observations conducted in WP2 and 3. WP5 will achieve new insights and discoveries through extensive in situ surveying and sampling efforts, AUVs with forward-looking cameras, and moorings, gliders, and ROVs with novel sensors, thereby going beyond existing current capabilities. We will accomplish higher resolution spatial and temporal data acquisition, develop new sampling approaches and measurements, enhance capabilities of platforms and develop new data and image analysis methods.

Table 1: Work Package List with staff involved 

WP No. WP Short NameLead Partner 
Contributing Partners
1Programme ManagementGEOMAR/ AchterbergHAIFA:Berman-Frank
2Water column processGEOMAR; Woden/Browning/HaussHAIFA; Berman-Frank/
3Seafloor processes and recordHAIFA; Makovsky/BialikGEOMAR; Steiner
4ModellingGEOMAR; Oschlies/PahlowHAIFA; Lehan/Krom
5TechnologyAchterberg/HovingHAIFA; Treibitz