Next Decade Plan (2004 - 2013)

Click here for Next Decade Plan in: Chinese

Mission Statement
InterRidge was created in 1992 with the express objective of supporting and developing important international programmes which could not have been realized by researchers in individual countries alone. This philosophy remains at the core of InterRidge for the Next Decade (IRND). The first 10 years have produced a united, coordinated international ridge community in many of the industrialised nations and lead to vastly improved contacts amongst ridge researchers in all parts of the world. These developments mean that InterRidge´s primary objectives can now evolve in two directions: (1) the fostering of contacts within the active community with a strong emphasis on integrating scientists from countries not yet fully integrated into InterRidge and (2) placing a stronger emphasis on the achievement of major, long-term scientific goals.

The revised mission statement for InterRidge in the next decade could be put like this:

“InterRidge promotes interdisciplinary, international studies of oceanic spreading centres through scientific exchange among researchers in all countries. InterRidge promotes the sharing of technologies and facilities and it especially encourages the integration of additional countries into the study, use and protection of spreading centres. InterRidge promotes the sharing of knowledge among the public, scientists and governments.”

InterRidge – The first ten years
When InterRidge began ridge research was conducted primarily by national groups working alone or in limited collaborations. The first ten years of InterRidge have seen the transformation of these diverse groups into a strong, coordinated and informed community consisting of over 2700 active researchers from 47 countries. Notable successes of InterRidge and its member researchers in the first decade include:

Exploration and study of the South-West Indian Ridge (SWIR): At the inception of InterRidge the SWIR was almost completely unknown due to its geographical remoteness, nevertheless it was identified as one of the most interesting ridge targets due to its slow and highly oblique spreading. The efforts of the InterRidge SWIR Working Group have led to 16 cruises to this region in the last decade, making the SWIR now one of the best studied slow-spreading ridges of the world.

The first mapping and sampling of the Arctic Gakkel Ridge: One of the few unknown areas of the global ridge system was, until recently, the arctic Gakkel Ridge. Through the activities of its Arctic Ridge working group and the organization of two workshops (1994 and 1998) to formulate a plans for mapping and sampling this ridge, InterRidge provided essential support leading to the first two-ship international cruise to the Gakkel ridge in 2001. The results of this cruise have shown the Gakkel ridge to be spreading in ways never previously recognised on Earth. Amagmatic spreading has been seen along some of the ridge, direct evidence for the theoretically proposed strong melt-focussing at these ultra-slow spreading rates was also found.
Workshops on many aspects of ridge science: InterRidge has convened and coordinated 21 workshops with publication of white papers in 8 countries during the last decade. A total of 1300 attendees from 36 countries shows the international significance of this effort.
The generation of an international ridge scientific community: There are over 2700 ridge researchers registered in the InterRidge directory. The biannual InterRidge News, containing information on Working Group activities, upcoming cruises and reports of cruise results is circulated to over 3000 addresses. The InterRidge web site receives over 10.000 page requests per month from people requiring ridge information. All of these features are clear indicators of the sense of community that InterRidge has fostered in its first decade.
Liaison to other international programmes: Collaborations with other international programs, SCOR, ODP, IAVCEI, have been pursued through the joint coordination of working groups and workshops. Many of the members of these international programmes are also active members of InterRidge
Providing a voice for ridge researchers: With the advent of deep-sea tourism and resource assessment and extraction at sensitive mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal vent sites, ridge scientists have been challenged to formulate standpoints and principles for wise use of the deep ocean. InterRidge has attempted to provide a central forum for outreach and communication for ridge scientists so that their expertise can guide those involved in the designation of Marine Protected Areas and advise the International Seafloor Authority.
The global sampling of the ridges: Prior to the inception of InterRidge many areas of the world’s ridge system were unsampled or only poorly sampled. Concerted efforts by InterRidge scientists using both targeted cruises and cruises of opportunity has greatly improved this situation.

Horizon – The next decade
The sense of community and the maturity of the scientific aims achieved by InterRidge in the first decade mean that the programme is ideally placed to play a leading role in facilitating major advances in ridge science in the future. InterRidge w