The global mid-ocean ridge system is a primary focus for energy transfer from the Earth's interior to the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. In a coordinated effort to understand the causes and predict the consequences of mantle-driven physical, chemical, and biological fluxes through the ridge-crest system, the RIDGE (Ridge Inter-Disciplinary Global Experiments) Initiative will launch in 1991 a series of integrated studies of the mid-ocean ridge “RIDGE Steering Committee, 1989”.
Seafloor observatories will be developed for monitoring temporal variation in active hydrothermal and volcanic systems on a decadal scale. Innovative seafloor instrumentation and work systems will perform physical, chemical, and biological measurements and sampling to address covariation among magmatic, tectonic, hydrothermal, and water-column components of the ridge-crest system. Initial studies may be focused on the Northeast Pacific.