21.01.2014

Coriolis II will arrive in Buenos Aires for the first oceanographic campaign

The arrival of the oceanographic research vessel strengthens cooperation in science between Argentina and Canada, and also marks the beginning of the first bilateral oceanographic research campaign in the San Jorge Gulf.

Coriolis II will arrive in Buenos Aires for the first oceanographic campaign

Coriolis II, a scientific research vessel.

Coriolis II, the scientific research vessel will arrive in the Port of Buenos Aires on January Thursday 23 and will sail to the San Jorge Gulf on Monday 27 beginning the research campaign which includes oceanographic, geophysical and geochemical research activities along the 2014 summer in the Gulf area, including the Chubut coastline. The campaign will be conducted jointly by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, the University of Quebec, the CONICET and the province of Chubut.

Coriolis II is a joint oceanographic campaign in which Argentine and Canadian academic institutions seek to facilitate and encourage the work of scientists

The main innovation of the scientific proposal of the campaign to be performed by the Coriolis II is that no comprehensive study of the San Jorge Gulf has been made so far.  This type of research is seen as necessary and urgent, given the trend toward expanding the offshore oil exploitation and interactions of this type of activity with the climate change processes.

The project will demand an estimated total of $ 6.5 million, the Ministry granted more than $ 4,800,000. Meanwhile, the CONICET and the University of Quebec contribute to the project with human resources and the Chubut Province, through the National Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development, provided funds for expedition costs.

Gustavo Ferreyra, PhD. in Oceanography and scientific coordinator for Canada of the Coriolis II, explained: "It's first time we have a national sea policy. The teams of different sub-disciplines usually work separately. Physicists do not usually work with chemists, neither do biologists with geologists. In this case, the information is shared. There is a shared database. The same information gathered in the Ministry Science will be at the University of Quebeq.  It will be reserved for students during a period of time and then it has to be public".

Meanwhile, the scientific coordinator for Argentina, José Luis Esteves PhD. in Oceanology, added: "These projects are integrated by Canadian and Argentine groups and some of these people will work on board.  This reflects the multidisciplinary approach handled in the campaign", and he finished "sovereignty means knowing what we have and our environment".

Campaign and scientific proposal

Coriolis II is a joint oceanographic campaign in which Argentine and Canadian academic institutions seek to facilitate and encourage the work of scientists, research experts and scholars, making emphasis on the human resource training from a multidisciplinary approach. Training will be a point of priority on the initiative, for which the mobility of Argentine and Canadian students will be encouraged between both countries to perform masters and doctorates in oceanography, physics, chemistry, biology and geology. Onboard oceanographic activities are expected to be performed during the day and geology activities overnight, so the Coriolis II will work 24 hours along the entire campaign.  The campaign will be divided into four stages or legs, in order to allow greater participation of Argentine researchers and students aboard.

Among the purposes of the mission are the review and investigation of the dynamics of physical, chemical and biological parameters that are key to the San Jorge Gulf ecosystem from an integrated oceanographic perspective; the experimental study of the effects of oil spills; establishing a long-term monitoring program based on measurements identified from the results of the first two instances of research, and modelling of physical-biological coupling processes in the context of impacts caused by oil and global warming, as well as the interaction effects between the two factors.

The marked intensification of maritime transport in the San Jorge Gulf, together with the current exploration and potential off-shore exploitation represents an increase in the risks of both acute oil spills (mass) and chronic spills (of a lower magnitude, but more frequent and prejudicial than the acute spills).  These facts warn about the potential risks of the oil industry for the marine ecosystem of the Gulf and its living resources.  Management for durable and adequate exploitation arises from a deep knowledge of this type of ecosystem behaviour.

Though a certain amount of scientific information is available nowadays, such information should be updated and enlarged, particularly the information related to the ocean circulation and the seafloor topography, essential factors for potential spills modelling and destination.

Argentine-Canadian Agreement

On August 2013, the Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Mr. Lino Barañao, signed together with the governor of Chubut, Mr. Martín Buzzi; the President of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), Mr. Roberto Salvarezza, the rector of the University of Quebec, Jean-Pierre Ouellet, and the director of such university, Serge Demers, the Coriolis Agreement.  The agreement promotes international cooperation for the research and development of marine science activities in the South Atlantic through the "San Jorge Gulf and the Chubut coastline ecosystem study and marine geology multidisciplinary programme".

About the Coriolis II

The ship has an overall length of 49.95 meters and weighs about 836 tons. Propulsion is provided by four six-cylinder Deutz diesel engines, with two variable pitch propellers of 750 revolutions per minute, which allows it to reach a speed of 15.75 knots. The boat has room for up to 14 scientists on board.

The San Jorge Gulf

It is an open marine environment of the Atlantic Ocean located in the central region of the Patagonia, between 45° and 47° south latitude, which covers an area of 39,340 km2, and is geographically and legally shared by the provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz.  The Gulf embraces a complex ecosystem and offers various high quality services, both for the regional and the national economy.  Among other services are the use of non-renewable resources, such as the projection of the offshore oil industry, and renewable resources, such as fishing and cultivation of various commercial species, as well as tourism through protected areas for biodiversity conservation.

Additionally, it is a high productivity and biodiversity area:  spawning, invertebrates and fish development, relevant to the industrial and small-scale fishing, and scenario of the marine oil industry.

More information on bilateral cooperation

It is noteworthy that the call for the Cooperation Programme between the Ministry of Science and the University of Ottawa is open. Until April 11 calls for the submission of joint research projects in all scientific fields is open, with emphasis on nanotechnology, biomedicine and sustainable energy.  The call seeks the scientists networking, providing an additional contribution to the international mobility category within the framework of existing research and innovation projects, funding the exchange of scientists.

For more information: http://en.mincyt.gob.ar/convocatoria/mincyt-university-of-ottawa-cooperation-programme-9363

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  • Coriolis II will arrive in Buenos Aires for the first oceanographic campaign
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Coriolis II will arrive in Buenos Aires for the first oceanographic campaign

Coriolis II, a scientific research vessel.

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