Dr Georgiopoulou is Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment and Technology, and was chief scientist on an expedition in 2018 aboard the Irish Research Vessel Celtic Explorer that is producing important – and sometimes astonishing – findings about a remote and largely unexplored region of the deep seabed known as the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone (CGFZ). This is the largest geological fault in the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge, stretching hundreds of kilometres between Ireland and Newfoundland
Among the discoveries made by Dr Georgiopoulou's team were expanses of fine sediment carpeted with life forms such as feather stars like deep sea meadows, as well as bedrock covered with stunning black corals and roamed by giant sea spiders. Using a ship-borne multibeam echo sounder to scan the geography of the sea bed, the expedition also found at least three mountains higher than 4000m.
“It is astonishing that there is still such a large part of our planet that we have not mapped and we have never seen. More than 80% of the ocean is not explored, when it forms 70% of the planet!,” says Dr Georgiopoulou. “Our expedition revealed complex geological processes that modify established theories for the formation of the oceans.”