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Once More Unto the Rift

Giant clams up to one foot long thrive in the crevices around seafloor pillow lava, which vent hydrothermal fluids with chemical nutrients. This vent site in the Pacific on the Galápagos Rift was discovered in 2002 and is called “Calyfield” after the clam (Calyptogena magnifica). The 2002 expedition was the first time NOAA Ocean Exploration sponsored work around the Galapagos. WHOI biologist Tim Shank recently completed another expedition to the region to to explore newly discovered signs of black smoker hydrothermal vents, to re-visit the oldest known vent fields, and to examine nearby sulfide mounds, deep fracture zones, and seamounts. (Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)


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