2008 Update

Monitoring and Observatories
Working Group Update 2008

Chairs - J. Escartin (IPGP, France) & R. Santos (Univ. Azores, Portugal)

Revised mandate for the WG
Our WG started in 2001 as part of the Event Detection and Response and Observatories WG, and the combined WG was renamed the Monitoring and Observatories WG in 2002. The original mandate for our WG was “to encourage multidisciplinary studies at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, with the ultimate goal of developing observatory-type efforts on the Azores area, encompassing the Lucky Strike, Menez Gwen and Rainbow hydrothermal vents, to characterize this portion of the ridge and understand the integration of tectonic, volcanic, biological and hydrothermal systems in space and time.” Following the second MoMAR (Monitoring the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) planning workshop in 2002, additional community meetings that this WG has organized or participated in include:
- 2003: ESF Exploratory Workshop “Long-term monitoring of deep-ocean hydrothermal systems”
- 2004: USA Ridge 2000 Mid-Atlantic Ridge Workshop
- 2005: International MoMAR Implementation Workshop
- 2008: USA Ridge 2000 Mid-Atlantic Ridge 35-37.5°N Workshop.

There are numerous on-going and upcoming integrated studies and monitoring efforts at MoMAR Lucky Strike including a test observatory site at Lucky Strike in 2010 (MoMARSAT project, France). It was suggested that special attention should be given to the planning and coordination of scientific activities in this area, to the sharing of data and information, and to the development of a data policy for activities at this site.
This translated into an effective coordination of U.S., French and Portuguese cruises and experiments in summer - fall 2008, and the release of a first GIS database for the MoMAR area through the MoMAR web page (http://www.momar.org). At the 2008 InterRidge Steering Committee meeting it was thus determined that the WG should continue with a revised mandate, focusing on the specific tasks of the MoMAR GIS database, cruise coordination, and planning for the next major international MoMAR workshop. This thrust is justified because of the expected installation of the ESONET MoMARSAT observatory in 2010 and the need for international collaboration in data sharing and cruise scheduling in the MoMAR area. The WG will also aid in identifying new sites and new experiments (e.g., new monitoring opportunities) in the MoMAR area and promoting collaboration among international scientists with complementary research interests and tools. Although focused on MoMAR, the WG will expand efforts to communicate with other mid-ocean ridge observatory programs. The WG will also follow the development of the OSPAR MPA sites, which included Rainbow, and the eventual extension of the continental shelf, which may include Rainbow within Portuguese instead of international waters.

Due to the evolution of the Monitoring and Observatories WG as described above, there will be a significant change in membership for 2009. R. Santos will rotate off as co-chair at the end of 2008, but will stay on as a WG member. Our new co-chair will be Ana Colaço (Portugal). Our new membership will initially include Doug Connelly (UK), Emilie Hooft (USA), and Anna-Louise Reysenbach (USA), but additional members will be added based on developing projects or needs identified by the community.

MoMAR cruises
Coordination of U.S., French and Portuguese field programs in the MoMAR area in 2008 involved a total of 5 cruises, with activities focused primarily at Raibow and Lucky Strike.
These included ROV Jason II dives onboard R/V Revelle (PI A.-L. Reysenbach, K. Ding and J. Seewald, 07-08/08), ROV VICTOR dives at Lucky Strike and Rainbow onboard N/O L’Atalante (PIs J. Escartin and J. Dyment, 08/08), hydrophone recovery for hydroacoustic monitoring of seismicity onboard Gago Coutinho (PI J. Goslin, 09/08), OBS recovery and deployment onboard N/O Suroit (PI W. Crawford, 08/08), and a
series of ROV test dives including the MoMAR area onboard Gago Coutinho (PI N. Lourenço, 10-11/08).