Notes on Vent Field Description:
2002 submersible Alvin "confirming that diffuse hydrothermal fluid was oozing from the scarp" (Haymon et al. 2005); meter-scale sediment mounds and craters; Haymon et al. (2005): "We describe the first known seafloor expressions of hydrothermal discharge from tectonically formed abyssal hills flanking a fast-spreading ridge. Seafloor manifestations of fluid venting from two young East Pacific Rise abyssal hills (0.1 Ma at 10°20′N, 103°33.2′W; 0.5 Ma at 9°27′N, 104°32.3′W) include fault-scarp hydrothermal mineralization and macrofauna; fault-scarp flocculations containing hyperthermophilic microbes; and hilltop sediment mounds and craters possibly created by fluid expulsion.", "We have not proved that the mounds are hydrothermal in origin, but their appearance is similar to meter-scale sediment features described at the volcanic Marianas Mounds site..."
Notes Relevant to Biology:
Haymon et al. (2005): "orange-brown flocculations clinging to basalt substrate on fault scarp at MM site; slurp samples of this fault scum contain unusual Archaea assemblage with hyperthermophilic affinities"
Year and How Discovered (if active, visual confirmation is listed first):
2002 submersible Alvin; 1994 submersible Alvin did not confirm activity
Discovery References (text):
Haymon, R. et al. (2004) Evidence for Pulsed Hydrothermal Venting from Young Abyssal Hills on the EPR Flank Suggests Frequent Seismic Pumping of Ridge Flank Fluid Flow. Eos Trans. AGU, 85(47), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract B13A-0173
Haymon et al. (2005) Manifestations of hydrothermal discharge from young abyssal hills on the fast-spreading East Pacific Rise flank. Geology 33: 153-156, doi: 10.1130/G21058.1.