Hot Vents in an Ice-Covered Ocean

HACON will conduct the first full-scale multidisciplinary study of deep (4000 m) hydrothermal vents under permanent ice cover in the Arctic, investigating the Aurora vent field (82°N) in the Gakkel Ridge, which was discovered in 2014 during the German AURORA cruise. HACON will unravel the geochemical and physical processes that shape the Aurora biological communities and assess the role played by the Gakkel Ridge in connectivity of chemosynthesis-based ecosystems between ocean basins. The project will provide empirical robust data of a pristine system prior to expected climate-change variations and increased human activities in the Arctic region.

Images: C. German, copyright WHOI; A. Purser, copyright AWI