2006 Update

Deep Earth Sampling Working Group update. April 2006

Recent Working Group Activities
Since the Working group was set-up at the end of 2004, we tried twice to take the opportunity of the fall AGU meeting in San Francisco to organize a working group meeting. As only 4 of us attended AGU in fall 2004, a working group meeting did not take place . In December 2005, we had a short, rather informal meeting on the afternoon before AGU, attended by 11 persons (including 7 WG members or associated scientists). The meeting agenda was dedicated to a short overview of the current situation of mid-ocean ridge related IODP drilling proposals, and to the organization of a joint (IODP/JOI/Ridge2K/InterRidge) "Mohole" workshop in 2006 (see below). A short report is available online on the WG webpage.

Planned WG activities
IODP, JOI, Ridge2000, and InterRidge are sponsoring an international workshop entitled, “Mission Moho: Understanding the Formation and Evolution of the Oceanic Lithosphere,” September 6-9, 2006 in Portland, Oregon (http://www.iodp.org/oceanlithosphere). The workshop will focus on and define the “Road to Moho” by identifying the scientific and engineering objectives that can begin immediately with available technology while leading us toward the high priority IODP goal of drilling a complete section through the oceanic crust and into the upper mantle. This initiative did not come from this WG; the workshop proposal (by Christie et al.) was initiated before its creation. However, the Deep Earth Sampling WG was instrumental in merging this proposal with the intention of IODP to organize an international "Mohole" workshop.

In the short term, our working group focus is dedicated to this upcoming workshop. After the workshop, the Working Group and its web page will be the natural way to promote the outputs of this workshop, both at scientific community and public levels. In the future, the Working Group will hopefully help facilitating international communication on other issues such as drilling active hydrothermal sites for example.

What are the international problems and hurdles that you as a working group face that can only be accomplished through InterRidge ? How can IR help to manage these problems ?

The WG was probably not as active as it could be so far, primarily due to the difficulty in getting together as a group to discuss and plan the working group’s agenda and give feedback on progress. This, apart from the availability of its members and chair, is the only real problem that an InterRidge working group faces. Without a budget, we are limited to trying to get together at other meetings, which severely limits the options. Gathering the whole group at least once is actually almost impossible. Electronic communication then becomes important, and this is probably where the main help from InterRidge comes in, by providing web support for working group activities. Our WG is currently not taking much advantage of the website. This can certainly improve in the future.

It turns out that the big scientific planning effort which is going to happen soon (Mission Moho workshop) would probably not have happened without the deep earth Sampling WG. It shows that there was a need for a planning structure in the field of deep drilling the ocean crust. The Deep Earth Sampling working group should be able to help maintaining this effort over several years, and will also promote and provide public outreach and education on scientific drilling of the oceanic lithosphere.

Working group members :
Wolfgang BACH Bremen University Bremen, Germany
Mathilde CANNAT CNRS Paris, France
Henry J.B. DICK WHOI Woods Hole, USA
Katrina EDWARDS WHOI Woods Hole, USA
Kathryn GILLIS University of Victoria Victoria, Canada
Benoît ILDEFONSE (chair) CNRS Montpellier, France
Peter B. KELEMEN Columbia University Palisades, USA
Christopher J. MACLEOD Cardiff University Cardiff, UK
Jay MILLER IODP-TAMU College Station, USA
Yasuhiko OHARA HODJ Tokyo, Japan
Jan M. Peter GSC Canada
Damon TEAGLE SOC Southampton, UK
Douglas R. TOOMEY University of Oregon Eugene, USA
Susumu UMINO University of Shizuoka Shizuoka, Japan

Associated Scientists (not directly involved in the group in initial phase)
Natsue ABE JAMSTEC Yokosuka, Japan
John CHEN Beijing University Beijing, China
David CHRISTIE OSU Corvallis, USA
Nadine LE BRIS Ifremer Brest, France
Jim NATLAND University of Miami, RSMAS Miami, USA
Kyoko OKINO ORI Tokyo, Japan