Active Submarine Hydrothermal Vent Fields

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Purpose of the databaseThe 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."

Database contents

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 (
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
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
National Jurisdiction within exclusive economic zones (EEZs) was determined by querying the VLIZ Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase ( 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
Minimum 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.
Volcano Number
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
Host Rock
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
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
Other citations

References in brackets “[ ]” were not consulted in full by the InterRidge Coordinator.


Version 3.4 - current version
Version 3.4 is the present live site hosted by IPGP, France. Ver. 3.4 launched on 13 October 2016 and had the same listings as Ver. 3.3 until 29 May 2017. Starting from 8 October 2018, the position for each vent field in the Interactive Map is displayed on the OpenSeaMap, Map data ©OpenStreetMap contributors (using Leaflet module). Ver. 3.4 was completed on 25 March 2020 and was submitted to the PANGAEA® Data Publisher. The total number of listings in the completed Ver. 3.4 is 721 (33 more than Version 3.3), with 666 confirmed or inferred active and 55 inactive (please note: the database is not comprehensive for inactive vent fields). The following additions and edits to "vent fields" in the database were performed from 29 May 2017 to 25 March 2020:
Added 36 (Ægir; Daisan-Kume Knoll; Dorado Outcrop; FRSC, 11a-3; FRSC, 14b, 16.11 S; FRSC, 14b, 16.31 S; FRSC, T12A-01; Futagoyama; Guaymas Basin, Northern Trough_2; Hafa Adai; Higa; Higashi-Ensei; Luso; MAR, 17 S; MAR, 25 S; MAR, 30.8 S; MAR, 31 S; Mariana Trough, 14.5 N; Mariana Trough, 15.5 N; Mariana Trough, 16.5 N; Mariana Trough, 18.2 N; Mohns Ridge, 72.8 N; MTJ, V12A-04; NELSC, T08C09 and T08C18; Perseverance; SEIR-WXC02; SEIR-WXC06; SEIR-WXC07; SEIR-WXC12; SEIR-WXC15; SEIR-WXC17; SEIR-WXC22; SEIR-WXC25; SEIR-WXC27; Tangyin; Yokosuka).
Edited 98 (13 N Ridge Site; Alice Springs Field; Ashadze-1; Ashadze-2; Ashadze-3; Ashadze-4; Atlantis II Deep; Banua Wuhu submarine volcano; Chamorro volcano; Dellwood Seamount; Deyin-1; Duanqiao; East Mata submarine volcano; El Hierro, Tagoro; EPR, southern 16 N segment; Explorer Deep; FRSC, Central; FRSC, Fonualei South; FRSC, South Central; FRSC, RC 129 and CTD 24 plume sites; GEISEIR site 2, segment J4; High-Rise Field; Irinovskoye; Isafjardardjup bay; Komba-ridge; Kueishantao; Logatchev-1; Logatchev-2; Logatchev-3; Logatchev-4; Logatchev-5; Loki's Castle; Longqi; Main Endeavour Field; Maka; Manuk Island; MAR, 19 S; MAR, 23 S; MAR, 27 S; MAR, 28 S; MAR, 30 S; MAR, 33 S; Mariana Trough, Central Trough; Mariana Trough, plume 2; Mata Fa; Mata Fitu; Mata Nima; Mata Ono; Mata Taha; Mata Tolu; Mata Ua; Merian; Methana; Middle Valley, Bent Hill Massive Sulfide; Middle Valley, Dead Dog Vent Field; Mohns Ridge, 72 N; Mothra Field; MTJ, PAPATUA; MTJ, T08C01; MTJ, T08C03, 15.72 S; MTJ, T08C03 and T08C04; MTJ, T08C05; NELSC, T08C12; Niuatahi; Niua North; Niua South; Panarea; Perseverance; Pescadero Basin, Auka; Petersburgskoe; Pika; Pobeda-1; Pulau Weh; Puy des Folles; Rainbow Bay; Ringvent; Sakai; Salty Dawg Field; Sasquatch Field; Saldanha; Semyenov-2; Seven Sisters; Snail; Soria Maria; SPOT, Yonaguni Knoll IV; Starfish Seamount, Tinakula; Tafu; Tahi Moana 1; Tahi Moana 7; TaiJi; Tarama Knoll; Tiancheng; TOTO Caldera; Troll Wall; Vema Fracture Zone; Vityaz megamullion; West Mata submarine volcano; Zouyu ridge).
Removed 3 (Middle Valley, ODP Mound - merged with Middle Valley, Bent Hill Massive Sulfide; MTJ, T08C02; MTJ, T08C03, 15.78 S).
Version 3.4 was used in the following:
- Ardyna, M., Lacour, L., Sergi, S., et al. (2019) Hydrothermal vents trigger massive phytoplankton blooms in the Southern Ocean. Nat Commun, 10, 2451
- Beaulieu, S.E., Brickley, A., (2019) Animals on the Move and Deep‐Sea Vents: Dataset for Spherical Display Systems, DOI:10.26025/8ke9-av98,
- Chapman, A.S.A., S.E. Beaulieu, A. Colaco, et al. (2019) sFDvent: A global trait database for deep‐sea hydrothermal‐vent fauna. Global Ecology and Biogeography,
- Menini, E., & Van Dover, C.L. (2019) An atlas of protected hydrothermal vents. Marine Policy, 108, 103654,
- Ocean+ Data,
- Orcutt, B.N., et al. (2020) Impacts of deep‐sea mining on microbial ecosystem services. Limnology and Oceanography,
- Salcedo DL, Soto LA, Paduan JB (2019) Trophic structure of the macrofauna associated to deep-vents of the southern Gulf of California: Pescadero Basin and Pescadero Transform Fault. PLoS ONE, 14(11), e0224698,
- Schmid, F., et al. (2019) Physico-chemical properties of newly discovered hydrothermal plumes above the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (13°-33°S). Deep Sea Res Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 148, 34-52,
- Thaler, A. D., & Amon, D. (2019) 262 Voyages Beneath the Sea: a global assessment of macro- and megafaunal biodiversity and research effort at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. PeerJ, 7, e7397,
- Van Dover, C.L., Arnaud-Haond, S., Gianni, M., et al. (2018) Scientific rationale and international obligations for protection of active hydrothermal vent ecosystems from deep-sea mining. Marine Policy, 90, 20-28,

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