About the Database

Purpose of the database Database contents What’s new in Version 2.0 An abbreviated history of the database Acknowledgements Download Version 2.0 documentation Version Updates

Purpose of the database
The purpose of the InterRidge Global Database of Active Submarine Hydrothermal Vent Fields, hereafter referred to as the “InterRidge Vents Database,” is to provide a comprehensive list of active and inferred active (unconfirmed) submarine hydrothermal vent fields for use in academic research and education. As stated by the InterRidge Working Group (WG) on Global Distribution of Hydrothermal Activity (InterRidge News 9.1, April 2000): “The idea of this data-base is that it should become the international standard for all known sites of submarine hydrothermal activity which can be updated simply by submitting an electronic message to the InterRidge Office.”

Database contents
Each Vent Field contains the following (“columns” in the exported CSV file):
Name of vent field Feature ID in MGDS
The Name ID uniquely identifies a vent field. This Name ID is associated with controlled vocabularies for Feature_ID VentField in MGDS (http://www.marine-geo.org/tools/web_services.php). We distinguish vent field (assemblage of vent sites) from vent site (e.g., Tica vent at EPR, 9 50'N vent field).
Name alias(es) for vent field
Other Names used in the literature for the same vent field.
Name(s) of individual vent sites
Names of individual vent sites contained within the vent field. Aliases for vent site names are given in parentheses with an equals sign, such as “Solwara 4e (= Fenway).” These are associated with controlled vocabularies for Feature_ID Vent in MGDS.
Hydrothermal activity is categorized as: Active, Unconfirmed, or Inactive. We consider the activity confirmed when indicated by visual observations at the sea floor (i.e., ground-truthing) that may or may not also include temperature measurements.
Maximum Temperature Maximum Temperature Category
Maximum temperature (deg. C) is provided for active vent fields; the “cell” is blank if unconfirmed and “NotApplicable” if inactive. For those active vent fields in which a maximum temperature is NotProvided, a category is assigned as High if chimneys and/or black smokers were observed or Low if only diffuse venting was observed. Again, the “cell” is blank if unconfirmed and “NotApplicable” if inactive.
Latitude Longitude
Positions are provided in decimal degrees to four decimal places. Negative values for latitude are degrees S, and negative values for longitude are degrees W.
The 8 ocean categories conform with the InterRidge Cruise Database: Arctic, Indian, Mediterranean, N. Atlantic, N. Pacific, S. Atlantic, S. Pacific, Southern.
Region generally indicates the regional setting of the vent field along the world plate boundaries. Exceptions include vent fields at intra-plate volcanoes and coastal faults. The Region tends to form part of the hierarchical vocabulary for each vent field Name Feature_ID VentField in MGDS.
National Jurisdiction
National Jurisdiction was determined by querying the VLIZ Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase, ver. 5, Oct. 2009, using the latitude and longitude for each vent field.
Maximum or Single Reported Depth Minimum Depth
Depth (m below sea level) is given for hydrothermal activity and/or deposits. Either a range (deepest-shallowest) or single reported depth is provided.
Tectonic Setting Category
Each vent field was assigned to 1 of 5 tectonic setting categories: arc volcano, back-arc spreading center, intra-plate volcano, mid-ocean ridge, or other.
Full Spreading Rate
For each vent field categorized as mid-ocean ridge or back-arc spreading center, the full spreading rate velocity (mm/a) was derived from Bird (2003), accessed via GeoMapApp.
Host Rock
Host rock is from a spreadsheet provided by S. Petersen in 2009, otherwise categorized as basalt-hosted, sediment-hosted, ultramafic-hosted, or NotProvided. This “column” was not vetted for Version 2.0.
Deposit Type
Deposit type is listed from Version 1 or from a spreadsheet provided by M. Hannington in 2009, otherwise NotProvided. Abbreviations include: polymetallic massive sulfide deposits (PMS), low-temperature hydrothermal vents and associated mineral deposits (LTH), near-field metalliferous sediments (NFS), distal metalliferous sediments (DIS), and vein and breccia deposits (VSD). This “column” was not vetted for Version 2.0.
Notes on Vent Field description
Notes describing the vent field are generally quoted directly from the literature. However, some of the site descriptions remain from Version 1 and may be similar to the “Description” in the ISA Database. This “column” in the database also contains notes relevant to other “columns,” for example, providing more information on the regional or tectonic setting.
Notes relevant to biology
Notes on biology are generally quoted directly from the literature. However, some of these notes remain from Version 1.
Year and how discovered
For the year and means by which discovered, visual confirmation at the sea floor is listed first, unless otherwise noted. Other information related to the discovery is listed in chronological order.
References for discovery Other citations
References in brackets “[ ]” were not consulted in full by the InterRidge Coordinator in 2009 (Beaulieu).

What’s new in Version 2.0
Version 2.0 has more than double the number of vent field listings (554 in the 5 March 2010 release) vs. Version 1 (212). Version 2.0 is comprehensive for active and inferred active (unconfirmed) submarine hydrothermal vent fields discovered through the end of 2009. The full database is uploaded into a Drupal 6 Content Management System. Taxonomy terms with controlled vocabulary were introduced for Activity, Tectonic Setting, Region, Ocean, National Jurisdiction, and Maximum Temperature Category. Each unique Vent Field Name ID is matched to a hierarchical vocabulary Feature ID for the same vent field in the in the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS). The full list of vent fields can be exported as a comma-separated-value (CSV) file.

An abbreviated history of the database
The original motivation for the database came from the WG on Global Distribution of Hydrothermal Activity, active from 1997-2002. Version 1 of the database was largely derived from M. Hannington’s compilation of the worldwide distribution of seafloor polymetallic sulfide deposits produced for the Geological Survey of Canada in 1994 with a supplement for shallow hydrothermal systems in 1999. Version 1 was posted online by the InterRidge Japan office (2000-2003) and transferred to the Germany office (2004-2006). In parallel, during the decade 2000-2009, M. Hannington updated and enhanced the database for seafloor hydrothermal deposits, published in 2002 for the Central Data Repository of the International Seabed Authority (hereafter referred to as the “ISA Database”). The ISA Database was revised in 2004 and the latest revision in 2009 will be posted online in 2010. Also in parallel, E. Baker maintained a list of locations at which hydrothermal plumes were detected in systematic, water-column surveys for hydrothermal activity, and S. Petersen maintained another list that included vent field maximum temperature and host rock.

For the revision to Version 2.0, S. Beaulieu merged 4 spreadsheets of global vent fields: 1) the Version 1 spreadsheet (212 listings), 2) a spreadsheet from E. Baker and available at NOAA Vents Program website (version 19 Aug. 2009), 3) a spreadsheet from M. Hannington (version 11 Aug. 2009, in preparation for revision of ISA Database), and 4) a spreadsheet from S. Petersen (version 30 Sep. 2009), in particular for vent field maximum temperature and host rock. After the merger of the 4 spreadsheets (which resulted in 462 listings), an additional 92 vent fields were added from the primary literature and from cruise reports and press releases for the most recent discoveries through the end of 2009.

The InterRidge Vents Database is supported by the InterRidge program for international cooperation in ridge-crest studies (http://www.interridge.org). For the revision to Version 2.0, we greatly appreciate access to global lists of vent fields from E. Baker, M. Hannington, and S. Petersen. V. Ferrini helped match vocabulary to the MGDS Feature IDs. A. Maffei and J. Dusenberry aided the upload into Drupal 6.

Download Version 2.0 documentation

For more information, please consult the database documentation PDF or contact the InterRidge Coordinator.

Version Updates

Version 2.1 Migrated site to NOCS server in Aug. 2010. In March 2011 discovered that the initial upload of database had not uploaded minimum depth 0. Updated this for the following vent fields (and some of the edited vent fields, listed below): Deception Island; Kos; Kraternaya Bight; Luise Harbor; Matupi Harbor; Methana; Montserrat Volcano; Punta Santa Barbara; Santorini. As of March 2011: Edited 28 vent fields (Banua Wuhu; Capo Miseno; Capo Palinuro; East Diamante; EPR, 9 50'N; Esmeralda Bank; Europa; Hot Beach; Komba-ridge; Kueishan Island; Kueishan Island, offshore; Loki's Castle; Milos; Naung; Nagahama Bay; Nishinoshima; Nisiros; Piccard; Pika; Santorini; Snail; Solwara 11; Solwara 17; Solwara 18; Soria Moria; Troll Wall; Vulcano; White Point). Added 14 vent fields (Akuseki-jima; Central Andaman Trough, rift valley; Central Andaman Trough, seamount crater; Consag Basin; Ischia Island; Jaco Scarp; Jade Emperor Mountain; Kawio Barat; Kodakara-jima; Krakatau; near Jade Emperor Mountain, on-axis; Pulau Weh; Wagner Basin; Walsh). Added 1 region to taxonomy: Andaman Basin.

InterRidge_Vents_Database_Version2_documentation.pdf30.98 KB