Hydrothermal Vents GIS data - InterRidge Global Database of Active Submarine Hydrothermal Vent Fields
Shapefile containing the global distribution of hydrothermal vent fields in WGS84 coordinate system.
Purpose of the database
The purpose of the InterRidge Global Database of Active Submarine Hydrothermal Vent Fields, hereafter referred to as the “InterRidge Vents Database,” is to provide a comprehensive list of active submarine hydrothermal vent fields for use in academic research and education. As stated by the InterRidge Working Group (WG) on Global Distribution of Hydrothermal Activity (InterRidge News 9.1, April 2000): “The idea of this data-base is that it should become the international standard for all known sites of submarine hydrothermal activity which can be updated simply by submitting an electronic message to the InterRidge Office."
Each Vent Field contains the following attributes (“columns” in the exported CSV file). If there is no value reported for an attribute, then it is not currently specified in the database.
Name of vent field
The Name ID uniquely identifies a vent field. We distinguish vent field (assemblage of vent sites) from vent site (e.g., Tica vent at EPR, 9 50'N vent field).
Name alias(es) for vent field
Other Names used in the literature for the same vent field.
Feature ID in MGDS
The Name ID is associated with controlled vocabularies for Feature_ID VentField in MGDS (http://www.marine-geo.org/tools/web_services.php).
Name(s) of individual vent sites
Names of individual vent sites contained within the vent field. Aliases for vent site names are given in parentheses with an equals sign, such as “Solwara 4e (= Fenway).” These may be associated with controlled vocabularies for Feature_ID Vent in MGDS.
Hydrothermal activity is categorized as: confirmed active, inferred active, or inactive. We consider the activity confirmed when indicated by visual observations at the sea floor (i.e., ground-truthing) that may or may not also include temperature measurements.
Maximum Temperature Category
Maximum temperature (degrees C) is provided for confirmed active vent fields; the “cell” is blank if inferred active and “NotApplicable” if inactive. For those confirmed active vent fields in which a maximum temperature is NotProvided, a category is assigned as High if chimneys and/or black smokers were observed or Low if only diffuse venting was observed. Again, the “cell” is blank if inferred active and “NotApplicable” if inactive.
Positions are provided in decimal degrees to four decimal places. Negative values for latitude are degrees S, and negative values for longitude are degrees W.
Location on map
The position for each vent field is displayed individually in a OpenSeaMap, Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors (using Leaflet module).
The 8 ocean categories conform with the InterRidge Cruise Database: Arctic, Indian, Mediterranean, N. Atlantic, N. Pacific, S. Atlantic, S. Pacific, Southern. Following the standards of the International Hydrographic Organization, the Arctic Ocean includes the mid-ocean ridge north of Iceland, and the Southern Ocean is defined as south of latitude 60 S.
Region generally indicates the regional setting of the vent field along the world plate boundaries. Exceptions include vent fields at intra-plate volcanoes and coastal faults. The Region tends to form part of the hierarchical vocabulary for each vent field Name Feature_ID VentField in MGDS.
National Jurisdiction within exclusive economic zones (EEZs) was determined by querying the VLIZ Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase (http://www.marineregions.org/eezsearch.php) using the latitude and longitude for each vent field. Positions outside of EEZs are reported as high seas; note that these are seafloor positions thus they may lie either in The Area (the seafloor beyond the limits of national jurisdiction) or on extended continental shelves.
Maximum or Single Reported Depth
Depth (m below sea level) is given for hydrothermal activity and/or deposits. Either a range (deepest-shallowest) or single reported depth is provided.
Tectonic Setting Category
Each vent field was assigned to 1 of 5 tectonic setting categories: arc volcano, back-arc spreading center, intra-plate volcano, mid-ocean ridge, or other.
Full Spreading Rate
For each vent field categorized as mid-ocean ridge or back-arc spreading center, the full spreading rate velocity (mm/a) was derived from Bird (2003), accessed via GeoMapApp, with the exception of literature values for New Hebrides, Tyrrhenian, and Izu-Bonin back-arc regions.
Some vent fields are sub-features of volcanic features identified with a permanent unique identifier (Volcano Number, or VNum) in the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program (GVP) Volcanoes of the World (VOTW) database maintained by GVP and accessible at www.volcano.si.edu.
Host rock is from a spreadsheet provided by S. Petersen in 2009, otherwise categorized as basalt-hosted, sediment-hosted, ultramafic-hosted, or NotProvided. Host rock is not comprehensively vetted for all vent fields.
Deposit type is listed from Version 1 or from a spreadsheet provided by M. Hannington in 2009, otherwise NotProvided. Abbreviations include: polymetallic massive sulfide deposits (PMS), low-temperature hydrothermal vents and associated mineral deposits (LTH), near-field metalliferous sediments (NFS), distal metalliferous sediments (DIS), and vein and breccia deposits (VSD). Deposit type is not comprehensively vetted for all vent fields.
Notes on Vent Field description
Notes describing the vent field are generally quoted directly from the literature. However, some of the site descriptions remain from Version 1 and may be similar to the “Description” in the ISA Database. This “column” in the database also contains notes relevant to other “columns,” for example, providing more information on the regional or tectonic setting.
Notes relevant to biology
Notes on biology are generally quoted directly from the literature. However, some of these notes remain from Version 1.
Year and how discovered
For the year and means by which discovered, visual confirmation at the sea floor is listed first, unless otherwise noted. Other information related to the discovery is listed in chronological order.
References for discovery
References in brackets “[ ]” were not consulted in full by the InterRidge Coordinator.
A direct link is provided to the *.rdf depiction of each vent field "node" in the Drupal database.
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