Objectives: Circum-Antarctic Ridges (CAR) remain the least known sections of mid-ocean ridges, mostly because of their location in high latitudes and areas of rough seas. However, these ridges are unique by their shallow water depths, ultra-slow or intermediate spreading rates, and complicated series of transform offsets compared to low-latitude ridges.
The major scientific objectives of the CAR working group are to improve our knowledge on the following issues: (1) How heterogeneous is the mantle? What is the role of mantle heterogeneities in the variability at the axis, compared to that of mantle temperature? (2) How do the three large mantle domains (Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific) interact as they meet under the Circum-Antarctic Ridges? (3) How do ridge processes vary with time? A few off-axis observations reveal significant evolutions in time, but off-axis surveys and sampling are still too rare. (4) How and how far do fauna and ecosystems travel? To address these questions requires a major, coordinated effort. The area is so vast and far away that no single nation can make large scientific advances at the Circum-Antarctic Ridges. The CAR WG should help scientists to launch new projects, coordinate existing cruise projects, and share information.
Co-Chairs: Anne Briais (OMP Toulouse, France), Jian Lin (WHOI, USA), Sung-Hyun Park (KOPRI, Korea)
Group members – Ed Baker (USA); Doug Connelly (UK); Dave Graham (USA); Hide Kumagai (Japan); Phil Leat (UK); Yoshi Nogi (Japan); Daniel Sauter (France); Chunhui Tao (China); Huaiyang Zhou (China); Vera Schlindwein (Germany); Russian representation tbd