Hydrothermal activity at Hook Ridge in the Central Bransfield Basin, Antarctica
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Hydrothermal activity in the Central Bransfield Basin revealed an active low-temperature vent field on top of a submarine volcanic structure. A temperature anomaly was detected and the sea floor showed various patches of white silica (opal-A) precipitate exposures and some yellow–brown Fe-oxyhydroxide crusts. Enriched dissolved methane concentrations were encountered. Sediment was near 24°C just after the grab came on deck. No dense population of chemosynthetically based macrofauna known from other hydrothermal venting areas was present, except for pogonophora. The observations suggest that the sedimented hydrothermal field at Hook Ridge is a low-temperature end-member branch from a deeper hydrothermal source.
KeywordsMethane Concentration Antarctic Peninsula Hydrothermal Activity Backarc Basin South Shetland Island
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