2006 Report

Working Group Update- Biogeochemical Interactions at Deep-Sea Vents

The working group’s first meeting was held in December 2004 at the AGU fall meeting in San Francisco where the working group activities were presented in the R2K poster session. The working group’s focus is on multidisciplinary research aimed at understanding the interactions between the biotic and abiotic components of different mid-oceanic ridge and back arc basin environments. Our primary goals are to strengthen and favour interdisciplinary and international exchange on these topics and, especially, to foster collaboration in field studies and the development of underwater instrumentation.

The first year of activity was one of intense communication within the ridge research community as well as with scientists involved in other emerging fields of biogeosciences related to reduced environments in the deep ocean. A wide range of contributions to international conferences were provided. A session entitled "Methods, tools and strategies for biogeochemical investigation of chemosynthetic deep water systems" was organised by working group members as part of the Biogeosciences programme of the 2005 EGU General Assembly held from 24-29 April in Vienna, Austria (www.copernicus.org/EGU/ga/egu05). A second session was organised at the ASLO summer meeting entitled "Plate Tectonics and Chemotrophy at Deep-sea Vents". This focussed on new interdisciplinary cutting-edge research in microbial geochemistry of mid-ocean ridges and back-arc basins (http://aslo.org/meetings/santiago2005). Contributions will also be provided at the Geochemistry and Biogeochemistry session of the 3rd International Symposium on Hydrothermal Vent and Seep Biology, September 2005 at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), La Jolla, California.

Working group members additionally supported the MoMAR International Workshop that was held in April 2005 in Lisbon by being part of the organising committee and participating in the workshop sessions. This meeting was an initiative of the Monitoring and Observatories working group. In 2005, working group efforts were also directed towards outreach activities, through participation at a press conference at the EGU 2005 General Assembly and through education outreach contributions to the InterRidge web site.
The preparation and search for funding for a workshop and IR-Theoretical Institute to be held in 2007 will be the working group’s top priority next year. These activities were discussed at the 2005 IR Steering Committee meeting in April, and received approval by the Steering Committee members.