Notes on Vent Field Description:
initially called "Mid-Cayman Rise, shallower site" in Version 2.0, then listed as synonym for "Europa" in Version 2.1, by cruise FK008 (OASES 2013) considered separate from Europa; located off-axis on the upper slopes of an Oceanic Core Complex; "The vent field consists of a conical sulphide mound, 100 m in diameter and 30 m high, venting predominantly clear fluids from orifices at its peak" (Connelly et al., 2012); A water column methane anomaly was detected in this area in November 2009 and its putative seafloor source called "Europa" by German et al. (2010), who proposed it to be a low-temperature alkaline system associated with serpentinization of ultramafic rocks (similar to Lost City). However the Von Damm Vent Field, located on the seafloor and sampled in April 2010 (Connelly et al., 2010 & 2012), is a hot, acidic and sulfidic system. Whether there is a separate low-temperature serpentinization-driven system also in the area remains unknown, thus the separate listing for "Europa"; http://www.oases-expedition.blogspot.com/; http://www.thesearethevoyages.net/jc44; http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/ex1104/; http://www.oases2012.blogspot.com/; cruise FK008 (OASES 2013) report: Tmax 215 C at East Summit, Tmax 147 C at Bartizan, Tmax 138 C at Twin Peaks; WHOI YouTube video accessed 24 April 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKE83QLBeP4&list=PL1CGd4Scv4GJsaaFRzItk-btFI757bH8f&index=6
Notes Relevant to Biology:
Aggregations of Rimicaris hybisae around the actively venting orifices of the edifice peak..., and at least two other morphotypes of shrimp present, along with zoarcid fish, turrid gastropods and lysianassoid amphipods (Connelly et al., 2012). "~ 400 m south of the VDVF, we observed an aggregation of mussel shells (Fig. 5c) and empty tubes superficially resembling those of siboglinid polychaetes" (Connelly et al., 2012); subsequent exploration by RV Okeanos Explorer EX1104 in August 2011 confirmed live siboglinid polychaetes in this area; NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, August 6, 2011: "The absolute highlight for just about everyone, today, was the discovery of a tube worm at the Von Damm hydrothermal field."
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
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.
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.
cruise FK008 (OASES 2013) report, http://www.schmidtocean.org/files/2013_cruise_report.pdf, accessed 10 June 2015.