Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge
Mid-ocean ridges are dynamic environments where globally significant chemical, biological and heat fluxes occur between the lithosphere and hydrosphere. Investigations of mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems are inherently interdisciplinary, reflecting the complex linkages between geological, biological, chemical, and physical processes. The Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge has been monitored on the NEPTUNE Canada observatory for over two years. Initial research questions for this study area were:
- What are the impacts of tectonic and magmatic perturbations on biogeochemical and hydrological processes in ridge crest environments and the overlying water column?
- What are the timescales of these impacts? Do they differ in sedimented (topographically unconstrained) versus non-sedimented (topographically constrained) terrains? What are the impacts at local and regional scales?
- What are the total fluxes of heat, chemistry, and biomass out of a hydrothermal system?
- What are the relative contributions to oceanic ecosystems from hydrothermal chemical flux, turbulent buoyancy flux, and topographic interaction dynamics?
This workshop provided an overview of the NEPTUNE Canada installation to date, describe opportunities for coordination, summarize current research results, and present future expansion plans. Further discussion addressed the following questions:
- Is this infrastructure providing data to answer the core science questions?
- How will the future expansion plans address these questions?
- What other research questions (and associated infrastructure) should be addressed in the Endeavour area?
- What other research efforts should be linked with NEPTUNE Canada to further our understanding of mid-ocean ridges?
- What research efforts can be furthered as a collaboration between NEPTUNE Canada and the Ocean Observatories Initiative to further our understanding of mid-ocean ridges?
The Endeavour Hydrothermal Systems workshop was held at The W Hotel San Francisco, California.