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
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
Note: You may be asked to enter the username and password more than
once to gain access to the forum.