Since the 1990s, when the European Commission ner similar to aerial photography. It should be kept started under the Marine Science and Technology in mind, that each of the continental margin sur- (MAST) programme funding for multinational veys between Svalbard in the north and the Ca- continental margin research, increased investiga- naries in the south, called for the team work of sci- tions of the seabed provided new insights into entists and seamen on numerous research vessels large-scale sedimentary processes shaping the Eu- under weather conditions ranging from severe ropean continental margin. It is a field of perma- storms to calm seas. To perform this kind of nent learning and underwater endeavour. community wide research activity demanded the Seabed characterisation and studies of sedi- participation of a major part of the European ment dynamics improved our understanding of research fleet supported by their national govern- the complexity of processes transporting large ments. masses of sediments over distances from metres to Apart from that the scientific results of the hundred of kilometres on the continental slope.
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