2003 Update

M&O Working Group Update
Reprinted from InterRidge News 12.1 (April 2003) by Javier Escartin and Ricardo Serrão Santos

The last 12 months have seen considerable effort towards long-term monitoring of the MOMAR area at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. These are continuing at the present time, as summarised below:

II MOMAR Workshop
The II MOMAR Workshop (15-17 June 2002, Horta, Azores), convened and organised by the Monitories and Observatories Working Group, was successfully carried out. A complete report of this Workshop is available at: http://www.ipgp.jussieu.fr/~escartin/MOMAR, together with open access to background data on the area. These data where compiled immediately after one of the meeting?s recommendations (additional data contributions are welcome). This Workshop was coordinated and immediately followed by the ?Vents Management Workshop? (18-21 June 2003); the final report is available at: http://www.horta.uac.pt/VentManagement. These Workshops established the basic experimental priorities and the basis for site management during long-term observations.

6th European Framework Program
The 6th European Framework program was announced at the end of 2002, and strongly determines the strategy to follow in the European arena towards the implementation of MOMAR. In a meeting in Lisbon in December 2002 it was decided to postpone the preparation of a MOMAR Integrated Project under the 6FP, as this project was not contemplated in the first call for proposals. A proposal to establish a European-wide network will be submitted to the European Union on the 2nd of April, coordinated by M. Cannat (IPGP/CNRS, France). This network targets mobility and training of personnel around the MOMAR project, but proposals in future European will be put forward for the implementation of long-term and observatory observations. These efforts also reflect an important coordination of European Laboratories and scientists with interest in the MOMAR project.

Seismic Monitoring of the MAR
The North-Atlantic Hydrophone array was deployed in March 1999 and will be in place till 2006 (D. Smith, WHOI, M. Tolstoy, LDEO, H. Matsumoto, OSU, and C. Fox, NOAA/PMEL). These instruments recorded a seismic crisis in 03/2001 over the Lucky Strike segment, one of the main targets of the MOMAR project. This array was complemented with additional hydrophones from the SIRENA project (INSU/CNRS, J. Goslin, UBO, S. Bazin, IPG, and C. Fox, NOAA/PMEL) that will be deployed to the north of the Azores. Both arrays will allow monitoring of a large portion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (~10°-50°N), including the MOMAR area.

ESF Exploratory Workshop
The European Science Foundation has funded an Exploratory Workshop on "Long Term Monitoring of Hydrothermal Ecosystems" that will take place in Barcelona, Spain, on 15-17 October 2003. The meeting, which will be limited to ~20-30 participants, will be announced shortly to call for applications from potential participants. Applications will be selected so as to assure equilibrium in the expertise and national representation, following the recommendations of the ESF.