You are here

Snake Pit

Name Alias(es): 
Mid-Atlantic Ridge south of Kane
23 N, MAR
MGDS_FeatureID lowest in hierarchy: 
Vent Sites: 
Fir Tree
Maximum Temperature: 
Location on map: 
National Jurisdiction: 
Maximum or Single Reported Depth (mbsl): 
Minimum Depth (mbsl): 
Tectonic setting: 
Full Spreading Rate (mm/a): 
Volcano Number (if applicable): 
Host Rock: 
Deposit Type: 
PMS, polymetallic massive sulfides
Notes on Vent Field Description: 
active sulfide deposits, metalliferous sediments, Fe oxide gossans, and low-temperature Fe-Mn crusts along topographic high at center of rift valley, high-temperature (345) black smokers and diffuse venting; covers an area of 150 m x 300 m along the shallowest portion of an intensely fissured neovolcanic ridge; Detrick et al. (1986): "Ten shallow holes, the first ever drilled in an active submarine hydrothermal area, recovered friable, unconsolidated Fe, Cu-Fe, and Zn sulfides and several large fragments of massive sulfide (mainly chalcopyrite) from the locally thick (>13 m) hydrothermal deposits."; also drilled in 1995
Notes Relevant to Biology: 
shrimp; Bythograeidae, Zoarcidae, Mytilidae, Polynoidae; Detrick et al. (1986): "The vents are also associated with an unusual biological community of smaller, more mobile organisms than reported from the East Pacific Rise. "; see Vereshchaka et al. (2002) and Turnipseed et al. (2004)
Year and How Discovered (if active, visual confirmation is listed first): 
1985 real-time TV and imaging sonar; earlier in 1985 seafloor photographs did not confirm activity
Discovery References (text): 
Kong et al., 1985, Bare-rock drill sites, ODP Legs 106 and 109: Evidence for Hydrothermal Activity at 23°N in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. EOS Trans. AGU, 66, 936
Detrick and ODP Leg 106 Scientific Party (1986) Drilling the Snake Pit hydrothermal sulfide deposit on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, lat 23 22'N. Geology 14: 3739-3762.
Other References (text): 
[Note: older citation for sites near Snake Pit including MOR flank to 4000-m depth: Thompson et al., Econ. Geol. Soc. Bull., 70, 1975]
(plume only) Klinkhammer et al. (1985) Hydrothermal manganese plumes in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rift valley. Nature 314: 727-731
JA Karson and JR Brown (1988) Geologic setting of the Snake Pit hydrothermal site: An active vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Mar Geophys Res. 10(1-2): 91-107
Fouquet et al., Econ. Geol., 88, 2018-2036, 1993
Krasnov, SG et al. (1995) Detailed geological studies of hydrothermal fields in the North Atlantic. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 87: 43-64
Vereshchaka et al. (2002) Biological studies using Mir submersibles at six North Atlantic hydrothermal sites in 2002. InterRidge News 11(2): 23-28
M Turnipseed et al. (2004) Community structure in Florida Escarpment seep and Snake Pit (Mid-Atlantic Ridge) vent mussel beds. Mar Bio 145: 121-132.