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The MAR-ECO project in marine ecology

This picture shows both Hjort and Murray on the deck of the research vessel, Michael Sars. Visitors to Bergen Museum today will still see portions of the vast collection assembled by Hjort's intrepid team.
Come with us on an adventure!

We are off to meet unknown challenges and to discover new things in the northern mid-Atlantic.

Early explorers feared that they risked falling off the edge of the earth if they ventured too far from land, and thus avoided the mid-Atlantic. Later explorers told tales of enormous monsters, and voyages fraught with danger. Today we still have the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, and unexplained disappearances, such as occurred in the Perfect Storm.

What is out there? What is it doing?

Participants in MAR-ECO are following a great tradition. This year (2002) people in Norway celebrate the centenary of one of the last great marine expeditions led by Johan Hjort. A Scot, Murray, funded the expedition.

The little knowledge we have today about the deep-ocean comes from the efforts of the intrepid explorers of the past. Technology has changed so much - what new things will we be able to discover?

This picture from the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center shows the mid-Atlantic ridge.

Where shall we explore?

Do you know that we know less about the deep ocean than we do about Mars?  Why is the mid-Atlantic ridge there? How does it affect the ocean waters around it? Does anything live there? Let's find out!

MAR-ECO is just one of the projects in the Census of Life 10-year programme to learn more about the world's oceans.

How will we get there? All aboard!!

One hundred years ago, marine explorers were at the mercy of winds and currents in their travels.  Today's ships are equipped with the latest technology both for navigating and for collecting data.

Norway is building a new state-of-the-art research vessel, the G.O. Sars. One of her maiden voyages will be to explore the mid-Atlantic ridge. She will explore the waters around the ridge for two months during the summer of 2004.

RV "G.O.Sars", which will be launched june 2003
Would you like to be on board?

Come with us and be a virtual explorer. Scientists now routinely virtually explore environments that are physically inaccessible. Marine researchers will take advantage of this technology to discover what kind of creatures live around the ridge. You can "come with them too" and see, for example, images of the kinds of creatures that live in the deep ocean waters.

click here to learn more

What are we going to find out?

There are many smaller component projects within MAR-ECO. Find out more

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