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Discovery of a black smoker vent field and vent fauna at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge

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Discovery of a black smoker vent field and vent fauna at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge

 

Authors:  Rolf B. Pedersen et al

 

Published online:   23rd November, 2010

 

Abstract:

The Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) represents one of the most slow-spreading ridge systems on Earth. Previous attempts to locate hydrothermal vent fields and unravel the nature of venting, as well as the provenance of vent fauna at this northern and insular termination of the global ridge system, have been unsuccessful. Here, we report the first discovery of a black smoker vent field at the AMOR. The field is located on the crest of an axial volcanic ridge (AVR) and is associated with an unusually large hydrothermal deposit, which documents that extensive venting and long-lived hydrothermal systems exist at ultraslow-spreading ridges, despite their strongly reduced volcanic activity. The vent field hosts a distinct vent fauna that differs from the fauna to the south along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The novel vent fauna seems to have developed by local specialization and by migration of fauna from cold seeps and the Pacific.

 

Link to full paper:  https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms1124

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