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The annual ECO2 meeting May 2013, Bergen

30 May, 2013

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ECO2, the acronym for “Sub-seabed CO2 Storage: Impact on Marine Ecosystems”, is a large scale integrating collaborative project funded by the European Commission FP7 work package OCEAN, and lasts from 2011-2015. The ECO2 consortium consists of 27 partners from nine European countries dealing with an extensive range of multidisciplinary studies from basic marine research to ocean governance. The second annual meeting was held in Bergen May 13-16.

In difference to the previous annual meeting in Southampton 2012, this meeting was expanded to four days, starting with a one day workshop entitled “Leakage Effects form Natural Analogues’”. During this workshop the data obtained or flagged through the ECO2 project were presented from the following natural CO2 analogues: Jan Mayen vent fields in the North Atlantic, Panarea Island in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Okinawa Trough off Taiwan, the Salt Dome Juist in the North Sea and the Eckernförder Bay in the Baltic Sea.

The annual meeting itself was held over two full days at the Radisson Blu Hotel Norge. The meeting started out with the leaders of all 7 work packages as well as of the 4 cross-cutting themes presenting the work progression of their respective sub tasks. These oral presentations were supplemented by talks and poster presentations of PhD students and early-career scientists working in the project. During the first two years of the project, comprehensive data sets were obtained through numerous scientific expeditions. The analyses and evaluation of these data are now moving rapidly forward. At this point of the project the different partners could share and compare knowledge and develop a common understanding of various aspects on sub-seabed CO2 storage, its environmental impacts and plan how to move further within the frame of ECO2.

One of the outcomes of the first meeting day was the naming of the seafloor fracture discovered in June 2011 by the UiB partner. As the discovery was done by using the high resolution sonars mounted on the AUV Hugin, the structure is from now on referred to as the Hugin Fracture.

A second achievement was the release of the folder “The language of CCS”. The glossary contains definitions and explanations in the multidisciplinary field of CCS. It aims to support the process of sharing, discussing and clarification of terms that some of us use every day but of which others, particularly the general public, have little knowledge about. The glossary can be downloaded from http://oceanrep.geomar.de/20194/

The project partners have applied for an ECO2 session at the AGU Fall meeting in San Francisco in December 2013. This gives the possibility to present the obtained knowledge for a broader scientific community and opens new grounds for discussion.
Day two of the meeting started with a detailed discussion between the Scientific Advisory Board, the Stakeholder Dialogue Board and the ECO2 partners. The diverse background of the discussion partners enabled a thorough evaluation of the work done so far and promised a successful second half of the project period.

The meeting closed with a half day workshop organised for PhD students in ECO2. The workshop was a fruitful get together where sub projects from almost all disciplines were presented.

For more information on the ECO2 project, please visit
http://www.eco2-project.eu/home.html