Future Research Directions in Deep SubInergence Science
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Deep ocean science is poised to enter a new millennium characterized by cooperation among scientists of many different disciplines who are seeking to gain an understanding of the complex linkages between physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes occurring at and beneath the ocean floor in the world oceans. This multidisciplinary imperative has been spurred by unprecedented advances in understanding the complexities and interdependence of these phenomena made possible through research that used deep submergence vehicles over the past two decades. Marine scientists of all disciplines are forecasting that the next decade will see et en greater linkage between oceanographic disciplines. The need to understand the temporal dimension of the processes being studied will sustain continued use of deep ocean submersibles and utilization of newly developed, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for conducting time-series and observatory-based research in the deep ocean and at the seafloor. These approaches will enable marine scientists to achieve a greater understanding of global processes and of climate change and geochemical mass balance These same approaches will enable them to grapple with intriguing problems concerning the interrelated processes of crustal generation, evolution and transport of geochemical fluids in the crust and into the oceans and origins and proliferation of life both on Earth and beyond.