Third Decadal Plan


From ridge crest to deep-ocean trench: Formation and Evolution of the Oceanic Crust and Its Interaction with the Ocean, Biosphere, Climate and Human Society

A plan for the third decade of InterRidge science

Hydrothermal vent chimney on the East Scotia Ridge imaged by the UK ChEsSo Consortium, January 2010. Mosaic image by Leigh Marsh, Jon Copley (University of Southampton) and the ISIS ROV Team (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton).

 InterRidge is the only scientific  organisation that spans the single largest  geological domain on the planet: the  Earth’s oceanic crust, representing more  than 60% of the Earth’s surface. The  background for this framework is the  recognition of a number of key areas of  research that are needed to underpin our  developing understanding of the  formation and evolution of the oceanic  crust and its interaction with the ocean,  biosphere, climate and human society.  The role of InterRidge has evolved from  facilitating cooperation between ridge  crest scientists to helping science focus on  the major and fundamental aspects of ocean crust generation and evolution; from genesis at the ridge crest, to evolution on the flanks and under the abyssal plains to its fate at convergent margins, subduction zones, arcs and back-arc systems.

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