2007 Update

InterRidge Working Group Update
Monitoring and Observatories

(May 2007)

Working Group Members:
Javier Escartin (Chair) , IPG, France
Ricardo Santos (Co-Chair), University of Azores, Azores
Kyohiko Mitsuzawa , JAMSTEC , Japan
Pierre-Marie Sarradin IFREMER , France
Adam Schultz , NSF , USA
Paul Snelgrove , Univ. Newfoundland , Canada
Paul Tyler , National Oceanography Centre , UK

The MOMAR Working Group, after the last meeting, has been inactive for the following reasons:
- As a result of the 2 MOMAR InterRidge meetings, several proposals were put in place, assuring thefield work carried yearly through 2007 and planned (funded) through 2008.
- The USA community decided to focus their ISS sites at the EPR, Juan de Fuca and Lau, leaving the slow spreading site for a later time. Given the current funding climate, this meant research activities in MOMAR on an individual basis, with no community-wide implication.
- Following several EU projects (MOMARNET, ESONET...) and French projects (ANR, cruises) there has been a high degree of coordination both at the French level (MOMAR France Steering comittee) and EU (ESONET).

It is felt that the coordination is best assured then associated with the funding of the projects (EU and France primarily). The role of InterRidge WG has thus been necessarily reduced.

Based on the apparent, possible shift of RIDGE2000 integrated study sites program, with a ramp-in of slow-spreading ridges, there is a critical need to coordinate efforts so as to optimize scientific return and field operations. As of 2007, there will be instrumentation at the seafloor, including autonomous thermometers, seismometers, pressure gauges, and other instrumentation. Thus an integration of the US side on the management of both the experiments and the data-sharing is required, particularly for monitoring and observatory-type experiments.

Lack of coordination, that can easily arise given the 'autonomous' nature of US science with respect to international efforts, can result in serious problems including:
- overlap of cruises for field work on the same area as the weather window is narrow (Aug-Sep basically)
- Interference and duplication of instrument deployment, risk of damaging previous experiments
- Incompatible management strategies and approaches, developed at different rates and different levels.

InterRidge can play a role on:
- Insuring that there is a communication channel between different 'MOMAR' countries and agencies, if MOMAR spreads beyond Europe/France and US particularly develops a Ridge2000 plan there (otherwise, implication of individual scientists/projects should not be a problem)
- A working group should then be basically the means to pass information between the different 'managements' (EU, France, USA) - the Fr and Eu management structures have huge overlap and therefore the integration comes naturally.
- Eventually, there is room to organize a meeting at the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009 on 'Integrated study sites and seafloor obsevatories at slow spreading ridges', this could encompass results on hand (Lucky Strike, Rainbow, Lost City, TAG, among others) as well as perspectives.
- As discussed in the past about 'complementarity' of instruments/protocoles - this is a thechnical issue to be dealt with the engineers involved in the different projects. It may be advisable to renew this effort, as developments and changes will probably go fast with the risk of divergence and incompatibility.