The National Science Foundation's Ridge 2000 program

Charles Fisher

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

Ridge 2000 is a new, National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored research initiative to understand Earth's spreading ridge system as an integrated whole, from its inception in the mantle to its manifestations in the biosphere and water column. Ridge 2000 is currently at the beginning of an anticipated 12-year program. The scientific motivation for the Ridge 2000 Program is encapsulated in the phrase "from mantle to microbes," which expresses the inextricable linkages between processes of planetary renewal in the deep ocean and the origin, evolution and sustenance of life in the absence of sunlight. Although the goals of Ridge 2000 have been defined, there are exciting opportunities for investigators to help lay out the details of the program and to carry out Ridge 2000 projects. The field-oriented nature of research to be carried out under this new program requires that new seafloor and near-bottom instrumentation be developed for in-situ and remote surveying and monitoring of biological, chemical and geological processes. The science plan for Ridge 2000 aims at a comprehensive understanding of the relationships between the biological, geological and chemical processes associated with plate spreading at mid-ocean ridges. This whole-system approach is integral to understanding how seafloor and subsurface ecosystems are sustained by crustal accretion processes. In order to understand the complex 4D processes involved in crustal accretion and its consequences for life in the deep oceans, the Ridge 2000 program will support two main research themes: time-critical studies and integrated studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages23-26
Number of pages4
Volume43
No8
Specialist publicationSea Technology
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering

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