World's Deepest Underwater Volcanic Vents Found in Caribbean

Posted on April 12, 2010

Deepest Black Smokers


The BBC reports that a British scientific expedition said on Monday that it has discovered the world's deepest known underwater volcanic vents in the Caribbean. The vents are located 5,000m (3.1 miles) down in the Cayman Trough.
Marine biologist Dr Jon Copley said: "Seeing the world's deepest black-smoker vents looming out of the darkness was awe-inspiring."

He added: "Super-heated water was gushing out of their two-storey-high mineral spires, more than three miles beneath the waves."

Expedition leader Doug Connelly said: "We hope our discovery will yield new insights into biogeochemically important elements in one of the most extreme naturally occurring environments on our planet."
Before this discovery the deepest known black smokers were located in the the Ashadze vent field in the mid-Atlantic Ridge. The Ashadze vents have a depth of 4,040m. Discovery News also has a story about the newly discovered vents here. Take a look:



Photo: National Oceanography Centre/University of Southampton