Ridge Crest News

First Chinese OBS experiment at Southwest Indian Ridge

An active source, 3-D seismic (refraction/wide angle reflection) experiment was completed at the ultra-slow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge during the 6th leg of the CHINA RIDGE cruise (DY115-21) on board R/V Dayang Yihao

Inactive Hydrothermal Vent Field Discovered at the Southwest Indian Ridge 50.5ºE

The 5th leg of the 2008 Chinese DY115-20 expedition on board R/V Dayangyihao has successfully discovered an inactive hydrothermal vent field at 50.4671°E, 37.6579°S on the ultraslow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). This inactive hydrothermal field is located on the shallowest portion of Segment 27 of the SWIR west of the Gallieni Transform Fault, with relative low mantle Bouguer gravity anomaly (Sauter, et al., 2001). This newly found site is located in the middle of a ridge segment, where the rift valley disappears and the seafloor depth is 1739 m.

R/V Maria S. Merian cruise underway at Logatchev hydrothermal vent field, Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Cruise MSM 10/3 on board R/V Maria S. Merian is underway from 11 Jan - 13 Feb 2009, with scientists from Germany and France, led by Chief Scientist Nicole Dubilier (InterRidge Steering Committee Member). This cruise is part of the German Science Foundation’s Priority Program “From Mantle to Ocean” (SPP 1144) in which scientists are working together to better understand the geology, chemistry, and biology of hydrothermal vents on the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

First Active Hydrothermal Vent Fields Discovered at the Equatorial Southern East Pacific Rise

In August-September 2008, the third leg of the 2008 Chinese DY115-20 expedition on board R/V DayangYihao has successfully discovered, for the first time, active hydrothermal vent fields on the fast-spreading Southern East Pacific Rise (SEPR) near the equator. This expedition follows the work of a 2005 expedition by R/V DayangYihao, during which water column turbidity anomalies were measured in the region.

Discovery of world’s most northerly black smokers at 73°N

The InterRidge Office has just received news that the world's most northerly black smoker hydrothermal vent field was discovered at 2400m in the North Atlantic at 73°N. The discovery occurred on July 12, 2008, during a cruise led by Rolf B. Pedersen, Professor of Geology and leader of the Centre for Geobiology at the University of Bergen, Norway. The cruise included PIs from Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, and USA.

Daily dispatches from multi-disciplinary cruise to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

A multi-disciplinary cruise aboard the R/V Revelle with ROV Jason II is underway at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from 9 July - 8 August 2008. The cruise includes three science teams, led by scientists Anna-Louise Reysenbach, Jeff Seewald, and Bill Seyfried and Kang Ding from the USA. Participants also come from China, Portugal, Russia, and The Netherlands. They will study the geochemistry, geology, microbiology, and biology of the Rainbow, Lucky Strike, Lost City, and Snake Pit vent sites.
Tune into the cruise website for daily dispatches: http://www.deepseavoyage.research.pdx.edu/.

Cruise underway at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 45 degrees 30' N

Daily dispatches are posted from 23 May to 28 June 2008 for Cruise JC24 of
RRS James Cook, at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 45 degrees 30' N.
Log on to watch the action as the scientific team, led by Dr. Roger Searle
(Durham University, UK), uses the ROV Isis for a detailed study of the
geology and geochemistry of the axial volcanic ridge.
Website (aimed mainly at schools and the general public):

Australian cruise SS07-2008 in the northern Lau Back-arc Basin

The InterRidge Office would like to highlight an Australian research cruise currently underway in the northern Lau Back-arc Basin (NLB). The SS07-2008 cruise, led by Chief Scientist Richard Arculus from Australian National University, will be in two legs from 30 April - 7 June 2008 on R/V Southern Surveyor. The objective of the first leg will be to survey the bathymetry, magnetic characteristics, petrology, hydrothermal activity, and hence origins and evolution of two of four spreading centers within this region (Northwest Lau [NWLSC] and Niuafo’ou [NSC]), which are essentially unstudied.

Preliminary report on the Hakuho-maru Cruise KH-07-4 Leg 2, Southwest Indian Ridge

The InterRidge Office has just received news from a January 2008 cruise on board R/V Hakuho-maru to the Southwest Indian Ridge near the Marion hotspot. We thank Dr. Nobukazu Seama, InterRidge Steering Committee Member from Japan, for providing a summary of the cruise objectives and sampling. Please visit the InterRidge-Japan webpage for ship track and sampling locations:

FIX08 cruise at the East Pacific Rise

FIX08: An interdisciplinary and international collaboration to study autotrophic carbon fixation and fluid chemistry at 9ºN and 13ºN EPR

An international group of scientists representing five different countries, i.e., USA, Germany, France, Italy, and China, was recently on board R/V Atlantis on cruise AT15-28, named FIX08. They were conducting work on in-situ chemistry of high- and low temperature hydrothermal vent fluids and the characterization of microbial communities carrying out autotrophic carbon fixation.

Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge - Dive and Discover Expedition 12

The latest Dive and Discover expedition recently took place along the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Cruise dates: Dec. 31 - Jan. 17, 2008). Kristen Kusek, InterRidge's Education & Outreach Coordinator, was the science writer for the cruise. The team tested state-of-the-art communications technology on a hunt for hydrothermal vents using two new AUVs, Puma and Jaguar. Hop aboard and watch the action!

LADDER III cruise at the East Pacific Rise

The InterRidge Office has received news from a U.S. research cruise at the East Pacific Rise 9ºN Integrated Studies Site. The LADDER III cruise, led by Chief Scientist Lauren Mullineaux from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is underway (13 Nov - 3 Dec 2007) on R/V Atlantis with the research submersible Alvin. LADDER is an acronym for LArval Deep Dispersal on the East Pacific Rise.

DY115-19-Leg 3 cruise

Four new hydrothermal sites on the Southwest Indian Ridge and the Central Indian Ridge located by Chinese DY115-19-Leg 3 cruise

After discovering the first black smoker at the ultraslow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR), Chinese R/V Dayang Yihao continued its expedition with the third leg across the Indian Ocean. The leg started in Durban, South Africa on 15 March 2007 and finished in Fremantle, Australia on 24 April 2007. This 39-day leg was funded and sponsored by China Ocean Mineral Resources R & D Association (COMRA) and led by Dr. Xiqiu Han, Second Institute of Oceanography, SOA. The objective of this leg was mainly to look for new active hydrothermal sites along the ultraslow spreading segment of the SWIR and the moderately-fast spreading segment of the Central Indian Ridge (CIR).

The Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE)

July 1 - August 10 2007
Longyearbyen, Svalbard to Tromso, Norway
MV Oden

AGAVE was a multi-disciplinary expedition with the primary purpose of finding and characterizing hydrothermal vent fields along ice-covered portions of the Gakkel Ridge.

MoMARDREAM-Naut Leg 2 & BBMoMAR cruises

Integrated studies at the Lucky Strike vent fields (MoMAR)

V. Ballu1, W. Crawford2, J. Escartin2, P.-M. Sarradin3 and Science Parties*

1Géophysique Spatiale, IPGP, Paris, France
2Géosciences Marines, IPGP, Paris, France
3DEEP-LEP, IFREMER, Plouzané, France

The 2nd leg of the MoMARDREAM-Naut cruise (19-28 July 2007) onboard "PourQuoi Pas?" (IFREMER/SHOM) with the submersible Nautile (IFREMER) will carry out multidisciplinary and integrated studies at the Lucky Strike hydrothermal site. Additional field work will be carried out onboard "Suroit" (IFREMER) during BBMoMAR (18-28 July 2007). This 2007 field work is part of a coordinated effort within the French MoMAR program to monitor active processes and their feedback at a slow-spreading segment, and it is funded primarily by CNRS, INSU and IFREMER.