MABEL 1 campaign

Campaign position on map

The MABEL seafloor observatory was deployed at the site in Weddell Sea (Antarctica). The selected site was located at approx 1874 m water depth, 60 miles offshore Neumayer German Station.

For the first time in the world a deep sea multidisciplinary observatory has been installed and successfully operated in polar waters.

In the case of Polar Regions, the peculiar advantages of the seafloor observatory approach are even more emphasized, considering the hostile environment and logistic difficulties as well as the perspective of studies in these areas. In particular, Antarctica is scientifically considered of strategic importance for the comprehension of a lot of phenomena.

Monitoring the geophysical and environmental parameters of the Weddell Sea shall greatly contribute to the understanding of the tectonics of the basin and of surrounding plates. The scientific mission in the Weddell Sea represents a first step towards the creation of the first Antarctic network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories. The controlled deposition procedure of MABEL and of future observatories or instruments may lead to the exploitation of array techniques, for example, for submarine seismic networks. The coverage of areas with regularly-spaced observation points allows the application of most of on- land techniques to marine environments. It also allows the extension of research to other areas of interest of the Italian Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA), without the limitations usually imposed by traditional methods.

The acquisition of time series data through MABEL has the following aims.

Seismology: to study the signal/noise ratio recorded by the benthic observatory and compare it with that of other land-based Antarctic stations; to characterise local seismicity; to contribute to the study of high energy events, terrestrial tides and free oscillations on a global scale.

Oceanography: to characterise the benthic stratum through the integration of physical parameters (temperature, salinity and optical properties). The deployment of MABEL in a continental sea allows the study of all phenomena affected by seasonal changes: the melting and formation of ice produces cyclical variations in the circulation of water masses and also affects their chemico-physical parameters.

technical reference Giuditta Marinaro (INGV)
project MABEL
period December 06, 2005 - December 31, 2006
observatory SN-2
coordinates 69.404917 S, 5.537 W (WGS84)
depth 1874 m
orientation 144.8°
info id instrument type instrument model sampling rate dataset
METADATA 56 CTD SBE 16 1 sample / hour plot
METADATA 57 Seismometer PMD - EENTEC EP300-DT 100 Hz -
METADATA 58 Transmissometer Ctg Alphatracka II 1 sample / hour plot
xml DIF
catalogues NASA GCMD
moist identifier moist.pnra.weddell_sea.mabel.2005
citation Marinaro, Giuditta. (2005). MABEL 1 campaign using INGV/SN-2 seafloor platform during MABEL project in Weddell Sea site (Weddell Sea), part of PNRA network.