Ridge Crest News

Hydrothermal exploration along the southern Central Indian Ridge, Cruise KH-10-6, Nov 2010

The objectives during KH-10-6 were:

1) to verify the hypothesis that hydrogen-rich KHF is controlled by the ambient crustal structure and the chemical composition of lithosphere,
2) to estimate the chemical and microbiological fluxes from KHF to seawater through hydrothermal plumes,
3) to quest an unknown hydrothermal field on the rise, tentatively called Yokoniwa Rise, north of the KHF, and
4) to develop the survey method for hydrothermal activities using AUV. 

New deep-sea hot springs discovered in the Atlantic, Oct 2010

Scientists from the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen on board the German research vessel Meteor have discovered a new hydrothermal vent 500 kilometres south-west of the Azores. The vent with chimneys as high as one meter and fluids with temperatures up to 300oC was found at 1000m water depth in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The discovery of the new deep-sea vent is remarkable because the area in which it was found has been intensively studied during previous research cruises.

Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre Hydrothermal Vents located by Cruise RRS James Cook 44, Mar-Apr 2010

The cruise (JC44) started with a high resolution multibeam survey (Simrad EM120 bathymetry with 50m resolution) and TOBI survey (30kHz deep-towed sidescan sonar with 3m resolution) of the entire Mid-Cayman Rise. We followed this with a plume survey using CTD casts and fine scale mapping using the new AUV, Autosub 6000. The target areas were initially based on the earlier RV Cape Hatteras plume data but were quickly modified following the results from our new surveys.

Read cruise report

INSPIRE: International South-East Pacific Investigation of Reducing Environments

With a coastline stretching more than 4,300 km (>2,700 miles), the geology and biology of Chile provides an incredible natural laboratory to study how life on our earth functions and has evolved. One specific setting, the Chile Triple Junction, of particular interest to two intersecting international programs – InterRidge and the Census of Marine Life - exemplifies this. The Chile Triple Junction (CTJ) area represents the intersection of three tectonic plates and the only place on Earth where a mid ocean ridge spreading center is being actively subducted beneath a continental margin.

Cruise PARISUB on EPR 16N magmatism and hydrothermalism over a ridge-hotspot interaction

In March-April 2010, cruise PARISUB (Plume And Ridge Interaction by Submersible) of R/V L’Atalante investigated the East Pacific Rise (EPR) between 15°22’N and 16°15’N where the spreading axis meets the Mathematician seamount chain.

First Chinese OBS experiment at Southwest Indian Ridge

An active source, 3-D seismic (refraction/wide angle reflection) experiment was completed at the ultra-slow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge during the 6th leg of the CHINA RIDGE cruise (DY115-21) on board R/V Dayang Yihao

Inactive Hydrothermal Vent Field Discovered at the Southwest Indian Ridge 50.5ºE

The 5th leg of the 2008 Chinese DY115-20 expedition on board R/V Dayangyihao has successfully discovered an inactive hydrothermal vent field at 50.4671°E, 37.6579°S on the ultraslow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). This inactive hydrothermal field is located on the shallowest portion of Segment 27 of the SWIR west of the Gallieni Transform Fault, with relative low mantle Bouguer gravity anomaly (Sauter, et al., 2001). This newly found site is located in the middle of a ridge segment, where the rift valley disappears and the seafloor depth is 1739 m.

R/V Maria S. Merian cruise underway at Logatchev hydrothermal vent field, Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Cruise MSM 10/3 on board R/V Maria S. Merian is underway from 11 Jan - 13 Feb 2009, with scientists from Germany and France, led by Chief Scientist Nicole Dubilier (InterRidge Steering Committee Member). This cruise is part of the German Science Foundation’s Priority Program “From Mantle to Ocean” (SPP 1144) in which scientists are working together to better understand the geology, chemistry, and biology of hydrothermal vents on the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

First Active Hydrothermal Vent Fields Discovered at the Equatorial Southern East Pacific Rise

In August-September 2008, the third leg of the 2008 Chinese DY115-20 expedition on board R/V DayangYihao has successfully discovered, for the first time, active hydrothermal vent fields on the fast-spreading Southern East Pacific Rise (SEPR) near the equator. This expedition follows the work of a 2005 expedition by R/V DayangYihao, during which water column turbidity anomalies were measured in the region.

Discovery of world’s most northerly black smokers at 73°N

The InterRidge Office has just received news that the world's most northerly black smoker hydrothermal vent field was discovered at 2400m in the North Atlantic at 73°N. The discovery occurred on July 12, 2008, during a cruise led by Rolf B. Pedersen, Professor of Geology and leader of the Centre for Geobiology at the University of Bergen, Norway. The cruise included PIs from Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, and USA.