Transparent exopolymer particles in a deep-sea hydrothermal system: Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California
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This is the first report of transparent exopolymer particle (TEP) concentrations within deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems using colorimetric methods, measuring TEP in supernatants of sediments surrounding the vents, in fluids emanating directly from hydrothermal vents and in neutrally buoyant hydrothermal plumes. Samples were collected at Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California), a sedimented hydrothermal system. TEP concentrations within the hydrothermal fluids were significantly greater than the only other report of TEP in deep water. The range of values for TEP abundance were 8–6,451 μg/L of gum xanthan equivalents, the highest values being associated with supernatants of microbial mat-covered sediments. The potential sources and significance of the high concentrations of TEP observed in this deep-sea hydrothermal environment are discussed.
KeywordsParticulate Organic Carbon Okinawa Trough Hydrothermal Vent Niskin Bottle Buoyant Plume
Thanks to scientific fellows involved in the campaign for their assistance, and to the captain and crew of the R/V Atlantis and the pilots of the ALVIN for support and their excellent mood in the field. L.P. Acknowledges Dr. J. Marra for his support to do this research. This work was funded by NSF OCE-0095297 (JPC) and NASA-NAI (JPC, JM), a Spanish MECD postdoctoral fellowship to L.P. at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and a research grant to L.P. by Consejería de Educación y Ciencia (Junta de Andalucía). Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory contribution 6946 and SOEST contribution 6812.
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