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Axis 3

Extreme environments, geobiological interactions, hydrothermal circulation, biogeochemical cycles, deep sea mineral resources, deep sea ecosystems.



Participating laboratories


Scientific context

Understanding the deep ocean is a critical issue for the international scientific community because of the important geological and environmental processes that occur there, its potential in terms of biological and geological resources, the unique richness of it’s biodiversity, and the technological challenges of accessing it.



LabexMER axis 3 activities are guided by three over-arching scientific questions:

  • What are the tectonic, magmatic and sedimentary processes that control fluid circulation and its spatial and temporal variability?
  • What are the environmental factors that control the dynamics of biological and functional diversity of deep-sea ecosystems?
  • What impact does microbial community activity have on the environment and the major biogeochemical cycles?


Expected results

The results of axis 3 initiatives are expected to contribute to a better understanding of geobiological interactions in extreme marine environments, such as those found at mid-ocean ridges, submarine volcanoes, abyssal plains (including nodule fields), and continental margins (e.g., cold seeps, gas hydrates).
Axis 3 initiatives examining extreme environments often involve innovative technological development, including continuous monitoring systems, sub-seafloor geological mapping, microbial culturing techniques at high pressure, and high-precision isotope geochemistry. The research undertaken by axis 3 initiatives should lead to a more informed approach to the exploration and utilization of biological, mineral, and energy resources of the deep ocean, at the same time helping establish the critically-needed scientific basis for defining conservation strategies for these unique ecosystems.



More information (downloads)

2012-2015 axis 3 roadmap

NEW : 2016-2019 axis3 roadmap

Document Actions

See the axis 3 leaflet

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