Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP)

International collaborative expedition to shed light on microplastics and ocean carbon

On Friday 14 April the RRS Discovery will leave Southampton for a research expedition to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain sustained ocean observatory (PAP-SO) in the Northeast Atlantic.

Europe collaborates to coordinate open ocean observatories

PAP Surface Buoy

European scientists are joining forces to better understand oceanic change, by coordinating ocean data acquisition, analysis and response on scales ranging from the provincial to the global.

UK commitment to international science on greenhouse gasses

PAP site Met Office buoy

The UK has become the newest member of an international consortium supporting science on greenhouse gasses, through long-term research infrastructure.

The very hungry sea anemone

Losactis feeding

The surprising culinary preferences of an abyssal sea anemone have been unveiled by a team of scientists from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).


Picturing the Deep – seeing climate change on the ocean floor

Autosub6000 onboard RRS Discovery

NOC scientist, Dr Henry Ruhl, is leading an expedition to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, some 300 miles southwest of Lands End. He will be looking at how the shape of deep ocean floor and climate influence deep sea ecology, and he intends to do this by making a very large photographic map of the seafloor – 10km by 10km – an area roughly the size of Southampton.

Met Office and NOC enhance ocean observatory

Map of the open ocean observatories of the EuroSITES network (credit EuroSITES/NOC)

In May 2010, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) joins forces with the UK Met Office to enhance ocean monitoring at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain sustained observatory (PAP-SO), the longest multidisciplinary open-ocean time-series observatory in Europe. This collaboration should both advance scientific understanding of the ocean and improve climate prediction.