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Less than 10% of the global mid-ocean ridge system has been studied in detail. To remedy this problem, a program called Ridge Interdisciplinary Global Experiments (RIDGE) is integrating observational, experimental, and theoretical studies into a decade-long effort to understand the geological, geochemical, and biological processes responsible for creating new oceanic crust along this system of ridges on the ocean floor.

RIDGE tackles many scientific fronts simultaneously—since the first field program went to sea in 1991, more than 60 field programs, experimental and laboratory investigations, and theoretical studies involving over 70 investigators have been supported.