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Rupturing Continental Lithosphere Red Sea forum

The MARGINS Rupturing Continental Lithosphere (RCL) Initiative is going through a transition. Decisions need to be made during this transition that will affect the direction of RCL over the next few years. Therefore, the MARGINS Steering Committee (MSC) are soliciting comments on the issues at hand via an online web forum (details below).

By way of background: Late in 2005, the National Science Foundation decided that the Red Sea focus site would be suspended for future MARGINS funding. The MSC and NSF Program Officers have since agreed that giving the Red Sea "Ancillary Focus Site" status is more productive. This status recognizes the ongoing MARGINS projects already underway in the region and re-affirms the importance of Red Sea in understanding rupturing of cratonic lithosphere. NSF will still entertain Red Sea proposals for MARGINS-related work sent to the core programs.

A June 2006 statement from Bilal Haq, Program Director for Marine Geology and Geophysics and Coordinator for the MARGINS Program at NSF giving more information on NSF's decision is available on the MARGINS website:

In January 2006, there was a very successful workshop on the status and future of the other RCL focus site, the Gulf of California - Salton Trough. There is major progress being made in the Gulf of California and Salton Trough by a combination of MARGINS funded and other NSF and Mexican funded research. The MSC recognizes this significant progress, and views this focus site as a success of the MARGINS approach by bringing major value-added science to a region of a type that the core programs and those from outside the USA were not previously funding. Therefore, the steering committee at
the last meeting in Feb. 2006, strongly endorsed the continuing vitality of Gulf of California as a MARGINS focus site.

The current question is what, if any, action should be taken by the MARGINS community given that the Red Sea is no longer a primary focus site and MARGINS will not be actively funding research in the area? The MSC is soliciting comments on this issue via a web forum (open now through 4:30pm Central Time, August 28, 2006) through which the community may discuss issues and concerns surrounding the Red Sea status and future of MARGINS-RCL.
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Last updated Tuesday, July 25, 2006