Notes on Vent Field Description:
Currently the world's deepest known hydrothermal vent field. "The BVF consists of a sulphide mound 80 m in diameter and 50 m high, surmounted with several actively venting sulphide chimneys. An area of weathered sulphide rubble extends for a further 800 m to the east of the active mound." (Connelly et al., 2012); Water column plume signal detected in November 2009 and its putative seafloor source called "Piccard" in German et al. (2010); however, as the convention is for naming vent fields after visual confirmation, the vent field was named "Beebe" when it was located on the seafloor and sampled in April 2010 (Connelly et al., 2010 & 2012).; http://www.oases-expedition.blogspot.com/; http://www.thesearethevoyages.net/jc44; http://www.oases2012.blogspot.com/; Kinsey and German (2012): "Beebe Vents is an active black smoker system with maximum temperatures of 400-403 degrees Celsius. Beebe Woods contains a set of tall beehive smokers with temperatures of approximately 353 degrees Celsius. Beebe Sea, the largest sulfide mound in the field, contains diffuse venting together with numerous extinct chimneys that indicate significant past active focused flow."
Notes Relevant to Biology:
Aggregations of Rimicaris hybisae (more than 2,000 individuals m-2) on vent chimneys, and around crevices issuing visible diffuse flow in the central region of the mound, along with high abundances of anemones (more than 20 individuals m-2) and extensive mats of filamentous microbes on the surfaces of mound sulphides. Occasional macrourid fish in the vent field, and solitary galatheid squat lobsters on the peripheral talus slope of the mound (Connelly et al., 2012).
Year and How Discovered (if active, visual confirmation is listed first):
2010 AUV Autosub6000 and HyBIS TVG; 2009 plume only
Discovery References (text):
Connelly D.P. et al. (2012) Hydrothermal vent fields and chemosynthetic biota on the world's deepest seafloor spreading centre. Nature Communications 3, No. 620, doi: 10.1038/ncomms1636, http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n1/full/ncomms1636.html
German, C. et al. (2010) Diverse styles of submarine venting on the ultra-slow spreading Mid-Cayman Rise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107 No. 32 August 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1009205107, http://www.pnas.org/content/107/32/14020.full.pdf+html
Other References (text):
Connelly, D.P. et al. (2010) New hydrothermal vents located on the Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre: Cruise RRS James Cook 44, March-April 2010. InterRidge News 19: 23-25
Murton, B.J. et al. (2010). Hydrothermal vents at 5000m on the Mid-Cayman Rise: the deepest and hottest hydrothermal systems yet discovered! American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #OS33F-05
Kinsey, J., and C. German (2012) Mapping the Piccard Hydrothermal Field - The World's Deepest Known Vent Area. AGU Fall Meeting Abstract OS13B-1737.