Program outline: “Canyons to Coast”
Deep Sea canyons intercepting the shelf are increasingly recognised for their importance in driving oceanographic processes, productivity, and feeding aggregations of marine mammals. Exchange processes and connectivity between abyssal plains, canyons, seamounts, ridges, the shelf and across to the coast are, however, less well known. The relevance of topographic features and their associated habitat types in mediating biodiversity patterns is also just emerging. Exploration and investigation have advanced with technology, yet challenges persist for deep-sea discoveries to advance basic and applied science. For a long time, the ‘Catchment to Coast’ concept has influenced the research and management agenda. This conference seeks to progress our scientific understanding by shifting the perspective deeper to the interconnectedness between the coast and deep sea.
The need to understand patterns and processes of the geology, oceanography, and biodiversity in this interconnected ocean sphere has intensified with rising resource uses and conservation efforts in a growing Blue Economy. Furthermore, climate change affects productivity and biogenic carbonate producers on both temperate and tropical shelfs, and it changes communities through increased tropicalisation of temperate waters. Marine protected areas are also expanding within territorial seas, the exclusive economic zones and in areas beyond national jurisdictions.
This conference is inviting presentations of research addressing the deep sea, canyons, seamounts and ridges, high seas, shelf ecosystems, coastal ecosystems, and oceanographic and ecological processes in between. Our aspiration is to promote synergies through interdisciplinary plenary sessions. A call for symposia will be made in mid-2017. General session themes will be offered and several workshops are envisaged before and after the conference. We are also seeking an accompanying exhibition to showcase the latest technological advancements and methodologies to survey and explore deep sea and shelf habitats.
As deep sea research thrives on international collaboration, we are reaching out to the global marine science community to contribute to this conference with an aim to derive commonalities for processes between canyons and coast, or to identify idiosyncrasies that are habitat specific. This overview will advance our understanding of the marine realm and raise the perspective for canyon to coast connectivity.