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RRS "Charles Darwin" Cruise 169, 17 Feb-19 Mar 2005. Hydrothermal exploration of the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

German, C.R.; Parson, L.M.. 2006 RRS "Charles Darwin" Cruise 169, 17 Feb-19 Mar 2005. Hydrothermal exploration of the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Southampton, UK, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, 92pp. (National Oceanography Centre Southampton Cruise Report 6)

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Abstract/Summary

The principal objective of this cruise was to identify the first site or sites of high temperature hydrothermal venting anywhere on the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge, to characterize their geological setting, preliminary chemical nature and to identify, where possible, the nature of any vent-endemic species that might inhabit such vents to investigate whether this ridge system might represent a new biogeographic province. Initially we used the TOBI deep-tow sidescan system equipped with a CTD system and optical backscatter sensors, together with Miniature Autonomous Plume Recorders (MAPRs) to identify two new sites in which diagnostic chemically- and particle-laden plumes indicated the presence of high-temperature hydrothermal venting. Subsequently, we used the ABE autonomous underwater vehicle to (1) locate the core of one of these hydrothermal plumes, (2) obtain a detailed map of the underlying seafloor and (3) photograph three discrete hydrothermal sites (2 black-smoker systems, 1 diffuse-flow) and their associated ecosystems. A series of CTD stations were occupied for water column investigations and a number of rock-coring and dredging stations were also undertaken to provide groundtruthing of sidescan sonar images of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge seafloor.

Item Type: Publication - Report (Other)
Additional Keywords: ABE, ATLSE, BRIDGET, Charles Darwin, Cruise 169 2005, CTD, EM-12, hydrothermal activity, MAPRs, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Red Lion, South Atlantic Ocean, TOBI, Turtle Pits, vent sites, Wideawake
Date made live: 11 Aug 2006 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/141274

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