A new EMSO sea-floor observatory offshore of Nice (Ligurian Sea)
A new EMSO sea-floor observatory has been deployed offshore of Nice. Its three instruments – one broad-band seismometer and two piezometers – are currently transmitting their real time measurement data through the Internet.
The sea floor observatory EMSO-Nice was set up jointly between Ifremer and Géoazur. It is located at twenty to thirty meters deep, on the narrow sedimentary plateau which borders the airport. In this zone, recognized as a natural laboratory for the study of submarine landslide processes, two piezometers are deployed to monitor the evolution of pore fluid pressures and a seismometer records the ground movements in a broad frequency band (earthquakes, swell and ground tide).
The installation of these three instruments provides an unprecedented way to approach the role of earthquakes as a predisposing or triggering factor as regards submarine landslides. The real time access to the measurements recorded by these instruments makes the study even more innovative. Real time access is made possible thanks to the installation of a two-kilometer long electro-optical cable connected to the land, supplying power to the instruments and allowing data transmission as well as remote control via Internet. Power supply and communication with underwater instruments are ensured by a set of innovative devices designed by Ifremer.
The seismometer data are available in real time on the portal which distributes the data of the French national network RESIF and are available here (on the map, click the triangle located south-west of Monaco).
The design and deployment of EMSO-Nice were funded mainly by the CPER PRIMA-OCEANOMED in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region (FEDER, State, PACA) completed by partners internal funds (National Center for Scientific Research and Ifremer). It is operated by EMSO-France (contribution of France to EMSO ERIC) within the framework of the “Ligurian Sea” EMSO node.