Hydrothermal vent fields and chemosynthetic biota on the world's deepest seafloor spreading centre
Connelly, Douglas P., Copley, Jonathan T.P., Murton, Bramley J., Stansfield, Kate, Tyler, Paul A., German, Christopher R., Van Dover, Cindy L., Amon, Diva J., Furlong, Maaten, Grindlay, Nancy, Hayman, Nicholas, Hühnerbach, Veit, Judge, Maria, Le Bas, Tim, McPhail, Stephen, Meier, Alexandra, Nakamura, Ko-ichi, Nye, Verity, Pebody, Miles, Pedersen, Rolf B., Plouviez, Sophie, Sands, Carla, Searle, Roger C., Stevenson, Peter, Taws, Sarah and Wilcox, Sally (2012) Hydrothermal vent fields and chemosynthetic biota on the world's deepest seafloor spreading centre. Nature Communications, 3, 620. (doi:10.1038/ncomms1636).
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The Mid-Cayman spreading centre is an ultraslow-spreading ridge in the Caribbean Sea. Its extreme depth and geographic isolation from other mid-ocean ridges offer insights into the effects of pressure on hydrothermal venting, and the biogeography of vent fauna. Here we report the discovery of two hydrothermal vent fields on the Mid-Cayman spreading centre. The Von Damm Vent Field is located on the upper slopes of an oceanic core complex at a depth of 2,300 m. High-temperature venting in this off-axis setting suggests that the global incidence of vent fields may be underestimated. At a depth of 4,960 m on the Mid-Cayman spreading centre axis, the Beebe Vent Field emits copper-enriched fluids and a buoyant plume that rises 1,100 m, consistent with >400 °C venting from the world's deepest known hydrothermal system. At both sites, a new morphospecies of alvinocaridid shrimp dominates faunal assemblages, which exhibit similarities to those of Mid-Atlantic vents.
|Keywords:||earth sciences, ecology, geology and geophysics, oceanography|
|Subjects:||G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QE Geology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
|Divisions:||Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences > Ocean and Earth Science > Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems
National Oceanography Centre (NERC) > Marine Geoscience
National Oceanography Centre (NERC) > Ocean Technology and Engineering
|Date Deposited:||16 Feb 2012 10:38|
|Last Modified:||19 Feb 2015 10:10|
Hydrothermal activity and deep-ocean biology of the Mid-Cayman Rise
Funded by: NERC (NE/F017774/1)
Led by: Jonathan Timothy Copley
15 September 2009 to 1 March 2014
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