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New Hydrothermal Vents in the Pacific Located and Mapped with Robotic Vehicle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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December 1, 2004

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Three new deep-sea hydrothermal vent fields were discovered in September 2004 in the Lau Basin in the western Pacific between Tonga, Fiji and Samoa and were geologically and biologically mapped by the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE), one of WHOI's autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Digital images and mosaic maps made using ABE were then used to assess the biological communities and geological features in the Lau Basin and to compare them with known Western Pacific vent communities. The third of five cruises planned to the area as part of the South Pacific Odyssey (http://www.southpacificodyssey.org/) is scheduled for April and early May of 2005.
B13A-0193 1340h RIDGE 2000 Integrated Studies: Patterns of Hydrothermal Ecosystem Variation Within Lau Basin
Related Sessions: B13A Monday 1340h Ridge 2000 Research and Progress: Spreading Centers as Integrated Systems Posters

Originally published: December 1, 2004