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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, p. 620. (doi:10.1038/ncomms1636).

Record type: Article


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.

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Published date: 10 January 2012
Keywords: earth sciences, ecology, geology and geophysics, oceanography
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems, Marine Geoscience, Ocean Technology and Engineering


Local EPrints ID: 210979
PURE UUID: 9895c0a2-4eba-469a-96b1-7e67b2fb25c2

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Date deposited: 16 Feb 2012 10:38
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:44

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Author: Douglas P. Connelly
Author: Bramley J. Murton
Author: Kate Stansfield
Author: Paul A. Tyler
Author: Christopher R. German
Author: Cindy L. Van Dover
Author: Diva J. Amon
Author: Maaten Furlong
Author: Nancy Grindlay
Author: Nicholas Hayman
Author: Veit Hühnerbach
Author: Maria Judge
Author: Tim Le Bas
Author: Stephen McPhail
Author: Alexandra Meier
Author: Ko-ichi Nakamura
Author: Verity Nye
Author: Miles Pebody
Author: Rolf B. Pedersen
Author: Sophie Plouviez
Author: Carla Sands
Author: Roger C. Searle
Author: Peter Stevenson
Author: Sarah Taws
Author: Sally Wilcox

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