2001 Update

M&O Working Group Update
Reprinted from InterRidge News 10.2 (Nov. 2001) by Javier Escartin and Ricardo Serrão Santos

The mandate of MOMAR (MOnitoring the Mid Atlantic Ridge) is to encourage multidisciplinary studies at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, with the ultimate goal of developing observatory-type efforts on the Azores area, encompassing the Lucky Strike, Menez Gwen and Rainbow hydrothermal vents, to characterize this portion of the ridge and understand the integration of tectonic, volcanic, biological and hydrothermal systems in space and time. The chosen site is logistically favourable for repeated or permanent observations due to its close proximity to the Azores islands (Lucky Strike <200 nm from Faial island). Background information on the area of interest and on scientific goals of the MOMAR project may be found in the Scientific Report of the first MOMAR Workshop (Lisbon, Portugal, 1998): http://ofgs.ori.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~intridge/momar/report.htm

The immediate task is the organization of a II MOMAR Workshop, that will take place in May 2002 in Horta (Azores, Portugal), hosted by the University of the Azores, IMAR and the ISR - Associated Laboratory. This workshop intends to bring together scientists working on active mid-ocean ridge processes interested in long-term, in-situ observations in the MOMAR area. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of observatory studies, and the technological challenges posed, the Workshop will encompass all disciplines, including Biology, Fluid Chemistry, Geochemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Oceanography, and Engineering.

The Workshop should:
a) define the scientific objectives to be pursued in the next 5-10 years: integration of biological, volcanic, tectonic, hydrothermal and oceanographic processes in time and space
b) identify the technology and instrumentation available for observatory-related studies, and future developments required: AUVs, moorings, ROVs, submersibles, data collection/storage/transmission, etc.
c) define the type of experiments to carry out in the future and establish a realistic implementation plan based on the scientific goals, as well as technological and funding constrains
d) define the procedures for mana-gement and integration of scientific data
e) establish links with existing national and international observatory-related projects: data and connector standards, transfer of technology
f) discuss and evaluate management proposals of study sites, and aspects related with scientific interpretation and dissemination for the general public
g) discuss and evaluate possibilities and strategies for funding of the observatory

We plan to have two days of discussions among different working groups, with very few key talks, and one day to write the results. The working groups will be determined based on the number of attendants and their expertise. The precise format of the Workshop, details on the schedule, official announcement and registration will be announced at a later time, not later than January 2002. Visit the InterRidge home page for the latest information on the MOMAR workshop.