The Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory

The Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory (PAP-SO) is a sustained, multidisciplinary observatory in the North Atlantic coordinated by the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

For over 20 years the observatory has provided key time series datasets for analysing the effect of climate change on the open ocean and deep-sea ecosystems.

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Upper oceans

alternative textThe North Atlantic is made up of a complicated layering of currents going in many different directions.

Mid oceans

alternative textThe twilight zone is the part of the ocean where sunlight is able to penetrate to a limited extent. In open ocean this can be as deep as 1000m.


The seabed of the Porcupine Abyssal Plain lies 4850 m (3-miles) below the ocean surface, but is still home to abundant and varied wildlife floor.