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GEOCEAN was the first Summer school organized by the labexMER.

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August 27-28, 2012 : A symposium in tribute to Jean FrancheteauJF

Jean Francheteau, Professor at the University of Brest and deceased in July 2010, was, in the seventies and eighties, one of the privileged witnesses and actors in the elaboration of the theory of plate tectonics and in the exploration of the mid-ocean ridge system. He is, for instance, one of the discoverers of hydrothermal sites along the East Pacific Rise, true oases for ecosystems totally unknown until then and major sites of exchanges between the Earth interior and the ocean.

This symposium was an opportunity to recall the eminent scientific stature of Jean Francheteau by gathering in Brest some of the major witnesses of these discoveries and, in a historical perspective, to review the state of the art in some research areas opened by Jean Francheteau.

August 29-31, 2012 : Summer School

The Symposium also served as an introduction to a Summer School intended to provide participants with knowledge and challenges on our understanding of geodynamic processes and biochemical interactions at seafloor spreading ridges, a rapidly expanding research domain (mineral resources, global budget, deep biosphere, …).

Summer school focused on:

  • geodynamical and petro-geochemical processes at seafloor spreading ridges;
  • ridge-flank processes in volcanic oceanic crust;
  • fluid-rock interactions, and geochemistry of seafloor hydrothermal systems;
  • in-situ observation of physical, geochemical and biological processes at the seafloor;
  • geobiological interactions, ecosystems and microbial diversity.

In addition to topical lectures, technical training sessions were provided on data acquisition at sea (logging, geophysics, coring), on petrological, geochemical and biological observation (rock description, mass spectrometer analyses, in-situ microbiology, …) and on job and funding opportunities.

Meeting summary

Over 100 young and established scientists assembled at the European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) and Ifremer in Brest for the GEOCEAN Symposium, in tribute to Jean Francheteau, and summer school focused on “Geodynamic processes and biochemical interactions at seafloor spreading ridges”.

This was the first of several such meetings enabled by the recently successful Labex MER initiative, a 10 year “cluster of excellence” program that assembles top-ranked laboratories in the field of marine sciences in western France and ensures their future excellence in research and collaboration.

Attendees represented a wide swath of scientific interests, including the kinematic and thermo-mechanical evolution of plates, geodynamic processes at seafloor spreading centers, the geochemistry of hydrothermal fluids and fluid-rock interaction, microbial biogeochemistry and ecosystems in extreme environments.

An equally wide cross-section of career stages were represented, including senior and emeritus scientists intimately involved in the initial development of plate tectonic theory, mid- and early-career researchers leading the charge today, and young graduate students eager to make their mark.

This 2012 GEOCEAN symposium and summer school was a great success in the eyes of the participants (see exit survey). A warm thank-you is extended to all those who contributed to these symposium and summer school that would have certainaly made Jean Francheteau proud.

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GEOCEAN Symposium & Summer School was organized in the framework of and are mainly funded by the LabexMer, with additional support from the University of Brest (UBO), CNRS, Ifremer, Région Bretagne, Conseil Général du Finistère, and Brest Métropole Océane. We wish to thank all the sponsors to have made this event possible.

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