EMSO-Azores is set atop an active volcano which hosts one of the largest active ridge hydrothermal vent sites. It is devoted to the integrated study of Mid-Ocean ridge process, from the subseafloor to the water column. The main scientific objectives are:
- to study hydrothermal heat and chemical fluxes to the ocean in relation with seismicity, volcanic activity and ground deformation at a diverging plate boundary;
- to study the impact of telluric, climatic and anthropogenic changes on deep seafloor ecosystems and hydrothermal communities;
- to study the dynamics of water masses in relation to the steep axial valley topography, and their impact on the dispersion of hydrothermal effluents.