Thriving chemosynthetic communities were located for the first time in the Indian Ocean between 2420 and 2450 m, on a volcanic knoll at the eastern crest of an axial valley, approximately 22 km north of the Rodriguez Triple Junction. The communities were distributed in a 40m by 80m field around the knoll. At least seven active vent sites, including black smoker complexes that were emitting superheated water at 360°C, were observed at the field. The faunal composition of the Indian Ocean hydrothermal vent communities had links to both Pacific and Atlantic vent assemblages. This discovery supports the hypothesis that there is significant communication between vent faunas in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans via active ridges in the Indian Ocean.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology