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Active hydrothermal vents in the Woodlark Basin may act as dispersing centres for hydrothermal fauna

Abstract : Here we report the discovery of a high-temperature hydrothermal vent field on the Woodlark Ridge, using ship-borne multibeam echosounding and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) exploration. La Scala Vent Field comprises two main active areas and several inactive zones dominated by variably altered basaltic rocks, indicating that an active and stable hydrothermal circulation has been maintained over a long period of time. The Pandora Site, at a depth of 3380 m, is mainly composed of diffuse vents. The Corto site, at a depth of 3360 m, is characterized by vigorous black smokers (temperature above 360 °C). The striking features of this new vent field are the profusion of stalked barnacles Vulcanolepas sp. nov., the absence of mussels and the scarcity of the gastropod symbiotic fauna. We suggest that La Scala Vent Field may act as a dispersing centre for hydrothermal fauna towards the nearby North Fiji, Lau and Manus basins.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03611693
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 12:04:19 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 10:38:54 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, June 18, 2022 - 6:53:33 PM

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Cédric Boulart, Olivier Rouxel, Carla Scalabrin, Pierre Le Meur, Ewan Pelleter, et al.. Active hydrothermal vents in the Woodlark Basin may act as dispersing centres for hydrothermal fauna. Communications Earth & Environment, Springer Nature, 2022, 3, pp.64. ⟨10.1038/s43247-022-00387-9⟩. ⟨hal-03611693⟩

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