[IIOE2-EP29] The Global Seamounts Project (GSP)

Lead Investigator and other key participant (s):

  1. Mr. Jim Costopulos , Global Oceans, NY, USA
  2. Mr. Alex Rogers(Co-PI), University of Oxford, UK

Period of Project: Spring-Summer 2018-Fall 2023

Brief description of the Project:

The Global Seamounts Project (GSP) is an internationally collaborative project that proposes to conduct thirty-six site surveys on eighteen seamount systems, equally divided between seamounts in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, with repeat surveys over a sub-set of project sites to generate temporal resolution of selected project datasets. The GSP may be considered, in part, an extension of the Census of Marine Life on Seamounts (CenSeam) project, augmented by: 1) participation from a wider range of scientific disciplines; 2) generation of methodologically standardized, physically comprehensive (e.g. across seamount depths, habitats and zones)and inter-calibrated datasets; and 3) collaboration with the ecosystem modelling community to define the scope and resolution of project data most ideal foe ecosystem modelling inputs. A principal outcome of the GSP is to develop new computer models of complex ecosystem function for seamounts that can predict system behavior under conditions of multiple environmental and human-induced stressors, and thereby to contribute to a greater understanding of complex ecosystem function on seamounts.

Geographical area of studies:

Initial consideration of areas for survey sites include seamounts in the southern Indian Ocean, including along the Southeast Indian Ridge and in the northern Indian Ocean near the Ninety-East Ridge. Final selection of Indian Ocean sites will be made through a Site Selection Working Group process and will be collaborative. The GSP calls for surveying and sampling of two seamounts per expedition, with pairs of study sites likely to be in regional proximity, and with the majority of Indian Ocean study sites likely to be in the southern region.