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Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps are submarine springs where nutrient-rich fluids emanate from the sea floor. Vent and seep ecosystems occur in a variety of geological settings throughout the global ocean and support food webs based on chemoautotrophic primary production. Most vent and seep invertebrates arrive at suitable habitats as larvae(More)
To assess the potential impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on offshore ecosystems, 11 sites hosting deep-water coral communities were examined 3 to 4 mo after the well was capped. Healthy coral communities were observed at all sites >20 km from the Macondo well, including seven sites previously visited in September 2009, where the corals and(More)
Submersible exploration of the Samoan hotspot revealed a new, 300-m-tall, volcanic cone, named Nafanua, in the summit crater of Vailulu'u seamount. Nafanua grew from the 1,000-m-deep crater floor in <4 years and could reach the sea surface within decades. Vents fill Vailulu'u crater with a thick suspension of particulates and apparently toxic fluids that(More)
Arguments for an abiotic origin of low-molecular weight organic compounds in deep-sea hot springs are compelling owing to implications for the sustenance of deep biosphere microbial communities and their potential role in the origin of life. Theory predicts that warm H2-rich fluids, like those emanating from serpentinizing hydrothermal systems, create a(More)
Submarine hydrothermal venting along mid-ocean ridges is an important contributor to ridge thermal structure, and the global distribution of such vents has implications for heat and mass fluxes from the Earth's crust and mantle and for the biogeography of vent-endemic organisms. Previous studies have predicted that the incidence of hydrothermal venting(More)
Since the first discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Galápagos Rift in 1977, numerous vent sites and endemic faunal assemblages have been found along mid-ocean ridges and back-arc basins at low to mid latitudes. These discoveries have suggested the existence of separate biogeographic provinces in the Atlantic and the North West Pacific, the(More)
Hydrothermal venting along mid-ocean ridges exerts an important control on the chemical composition of sea water by serving as a major source or sink for a number of trace elements in the ocean. Of these, iron has received considerable attention because of its role as an essential and often limiting nutrient for primary production in regions of the ocean(More)
Loch Etive is a fjordic system on the west coast of Scotland. The deep waters of the upper basin are periodically isolated, and during these periods oxygen is lost through benthic respiration and concentrations of dissolved manganese increase. In April 2000 the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Autosub was fitted with an in situ dissolved manganese(More)
The ChEss project of the Census of Marine Life (2002-2010) helped foster internationally-coordinated studies worldwide focusing on exploration for, and characterization of new deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystem sites. This work has advanced our understanding of the nature and factors controlling the biogeography and biodiversity of these ecosystems in four(More)
Thirty years after the first discovery of high-temperature submarine venting, the vast majority of the global mid-ocean ridge remains unexplored for hydrothermal activity. Of particular interest are the world's ultraslow spreading ridges that were the last to be demonstrated to host high-temperature venting but may host systems particularly relevant to(More)