An international team of scientists has discovered a new hydrothermal field near the Gigante Seamount in the Azores, while surveying the largely untouched seas of the Azores, an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic which harbours some of the most important deep-sea ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean. The newly discovered site, located on Gigante Seamount at 570 m depth and approximately 100 km from Faial island, is remarkable given its accessibility compared to other hydrothermal vent systems. This just shows how little we know about the deep sea, the largest ecosystem on our planet.

new hydrothermal fied discovered azores, new hydrothermal field azores, azores hydrothermal field
Location of Gigante seamount in relation to Faial Island in the Azores – Map by www.frontiersin.org

Telmo Morato, ATLAS principal investigator at IMAR–UAz, who is leading the expedition’s ROV dives says the find is fantastic. The newly discovered site, located on Gigante Seamount at 570 m depth and approximately 100 km from Faial island, is remarkable given its accessibility compared to other hydrothermal vent systems. This relative ease of access could present a unique opportunity for scientists to discover more about these areas of high biological and mineral richness, which are like an oasis hidden in the deep ocean. Hydrothermal fields are poorly understood so far, mainly due to most vent fields discovered to date being difficult to access, but they are important for their relative high biological productivity in the deep ocean, often hosting complex communities.

The discovery was made using the Portuguese ROV “Luso,” which is capable of diving to a depth of 6000 meters. Luso makes it possible to map deep-sea benthic communities inhabiting hydrothermal fields, such as this one, as well as seamounts in the region. The newly discovered hydrothermal vents have built up distinctive chimneys on the seafloor through which warm waters rich in carbon dioxide are discharging. The team at sea have seen evidence that bacteria are growing in great numbers around these vents and are likely to support a specialised food chain. These chemosynthetic organisms don’t need light to make their food and can support diverse ecosystems in the dark depths of the deep Atlantic.

new hydrothermal fied discovered azores, new hydrothermal field azores, azores hydrothermal field
Bathymetric map of the Gigante submarine volcano, located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, separating the North American and Eurasian plates – Map by Instituto Hidrográfico da Marinha Portuguesa.

The scientists on this expedition have also deployed baited cameras around the seamounts to attract pelagic fish and dived the Luso late at night to capture migration patterns, allowing us to better understand the biodiversity of the region. The valuable information provided by these dives will aid the sustainable management of deep-sea ecosystems and maintain the wealth of services the ocean provides us.

Currently, only 3 percent of the ocean is protected, and the ATLAS team onboard are gathering vital information to understand whether these vent ecosystems meet the criteria of being Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) as agreed by the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation.

new hydrothermal fied discovered azores, new hydrothermal field azores, azores hydrothermal field
Chimney of the new hydrothermal field of the Gigante seamount – a disturbance overcomes the vent, testifying to a emission of hot fluids – image taken by ROV Luso / EMEPC – Estrutura de Missão para a Extensão da Plataforma Continental

This unexpected discovery is a huge step forward for deep-sea exploration and the better understanding of these largely untouched ecosystems. Professor Murray Roberts, ATLAS Project coordinator at the University of Edinburgh, said “This just shows how little we know about the deep sea, the largest ecosystem on our planet. Hydrothermal vents not only form oases of life in the deep ocean, but research over the last 20 years has shown the minerals they release also have important consequences for life throughout the ocean. As plans to mine deep sea minerals are developed around the world it’s absolutely essential we understand these relationships to protect the oceans and the support functions they provide to all life on Earth.

We know little about the deep sea… And this is why it is one of the best places to make secret experiements, no?

Follow us: Facebook and Twitter

Expedição Oceano Azul descobre novo campo hidrotermal nos Açores
Persistent Enhancement of Micronekton Backscatter at the Summits of Seamounts in the Azores
Extraordinary hydrothermal vent discovery in the mid-Atlantic ocean

22 COMMENTS

  1. INSANE low-precipitation supercell illuminated by setting sun in southwest Oklahoma!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA1iK5cIucI

    On the video above, you can see a huge mothership (called supercell) from Galactic Federation of Light. Around 1:10, you can see a shining orb spaceship coming out of this mothership. Their spaceships are completely different from Darkside spaceships which are made mainly some kind of metals. Spaceships of Lightside can change the shape and disappear (and appear) suddenly. Most of all, those spaceships have consciousness just like living things.

  2. Ecological Disaster – Red Tide Outbreak – Sarasota, FL – 6/23/2018
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=162l8-ThDnc

    It looks so stinky from the washed out rotten fish! I am so glad that I’ve gotten out of Florida. I feel sorry about people still living there, but all the low-lying areas are going to be under water soon because of the melting ice in polar regions. Until then, enjoy the beaches! (with thousands of dead fish)

  3. END TIMES SIGNS LATEST EVENTS AND GOD’S WARNING (JUN 24, 2018) THIS HAPPENED ON OUR EARTH
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWl8oFOVKE4

    The sight of he collapsed bridge is impressive. I did not know the train of tankers derailed and spilled so much oil in Iowa. A huge excavator truck (in Reptilian Secrete Underground construction site = quarry) washed away by the flash flood is very interesting. Recently erupted volcano Fuego made an impressive lightning show is surprising. The mysterious light in the sky on and off is obviously from the spaceship of Galactic Federation of Light. They do often light on and off just above my house, too.

  4. Fire breaks out at Mary`s Lake Lodge in Estes Park
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRJ8t3_Om8o

    Expensive resort hotel in Estes Park in Colorado got fire last night. Usually where resort is where Reptilian Secret Underground Base is. Their underground bases are located almost everywhere. How many secret underground bases exist on the Earth? Probably every city, town, village, and resort & mountains. There are many underground cities as many as cities on the surface on the Earth. But major secret underground bases exist where all the military bases are, and where major commerce or industry and municipal buildings are. When they construct major buildings including hospitals, hotels, city hall, tunnels, etc…, they also build secret underground bases with tax you paid. That secret budget is called “black budget”.

  5. Oil especially underground in the middle of the ocean is good evidence of some cataclysmic event that buried entire forests under immense amounts of sediment. The same type of event that left giant boulders in the middle of fields involved almost unimaginable tsunamis… a flood like in most ancient legends not just the Bible. But the powers that be tell us it was an ice age but glaciers moving across thousands of miles is impossible because ice can only move down a slope like a mountain.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here