Multidisciplinary Scientific Cruise to the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Azores Archipelago

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Somoza Losada, Luis and Medialdea Cela, Teresa and González Sanz, Francisco Javier and Calado, Antonio and Afonso, Andreia and Albuquerque, Mónica and Asensio Ramos, María and Bettencourt, Renato and Blasco, Iker and Candón, Jose A. and Carreiro-Silva, Marina and Cid, Constantino and Ignacio San José, Cristina de and López Pamo, Enrique and Machancoses, Sara and Ramos González, Bruno and Pinto Ribeiro, Luisa and Rincón-Tomás, Blanca and Santofimia Pastor, Esther and Souto, Miguel and Tojeira, Inês and Viegas, Cláudia and Madureira, Pedro (2020) Multidisciplinary Scientific Cruise to the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Azores Archipelago. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7 (568035). ISSN 2296-7745

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Official URL: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.568035/full



Abstract

This work presents the preliminary result of the multidisciplinary cruise EXPLOSEA2 surveying the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Azores Archipelago from 46° 30′ N to 38° 30′ N aboard the R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa and ROV Luso over 54 days (June 11 to July 27, 2019). In this cruise report, we detail the geophysical, hydrographic, geological, oceanographic, ecological, and microbiological data acquired and a brief of main findings. The cruise addressed the exploration and comprehensive characterization of venting sites, including the water column, the sediments and rocks that host the hydrothermal activity, and the associated mineralizations, biology, and microbiology. Deep hydrothermal chimneys and massive sulfide deposits (up 3,000 m in depth) within the Moytirra hydrothermal active field were identified on slopes that had not been explored previously. Another striking finding made during the EXPLOSEA2 cruise was the field of carbonate chimneys named the “Magallanes-Elcano” field, a potentially relict ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal site sourced by abiotic methane. This field is related to a serpentinite and gabbro rock outcropping on a dome-shaped massif named the “Iberian Massif.” An outstanding finding of the EXPLOSEA2 survey was the identification of the first garden of soft corals growing after active submarine eruptions were reported in the Azores Archipelago composed by a high density of soft corals the suborder Alcyoniina at the summit and flanks of a recent volcanic cone at 160 m water depth developed during the 1957–1958 eruption of Capelinhos. Several cold-water coral habitats formed by colonial scleractinians (e.g., Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata), coral gardens composed of mixed assemblages of black corals (Leiopathes sp.), and octocorals and dense aggregations of the glass sponge Pheronema carpenteri that may be classified as vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) have been discovered during the EXPLOSEA2 cruise along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This work reveals the importance of multidisciplinary surveys to the knowledge of deep-sea environments.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mid Atlantic Ridge, hydrothermal vent areas, remote operated vehicle, Cold-water corals, deep-sea habitats, multidisciplinary approach, vulnerable ecological region, Azores archipelago
Subjects:Sciences > Geology
Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
ID Code:63635
Deposited On:03 Feb 2021 06:53
Last Modified:03 Feb 2021 08:35

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