Ramalho Sofia P.

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Last Name
Ramalho
First Name
Sofia P.
ORCID
0000-0001-8714-4696

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  • Article
    Volcanically hosted venting with indications of ultramafic influence at Aurora hydrothermal field on Gakkel Ridge
    (Nature Communications, 2022-10-31) German, Christopher R ; Reeves, Eoghan P ; Türke, Andreas ; Diehl, Alexander ; Albers, Elmar ; Bach, Wolfgang ; Purser, Autun ; Ramalho, Sofia P ; Suman, Stefano ; Mertens, Christian ; Walter, Maren ; Ramirez-Llodra, Eva ; Schlindwein, Vera ; Bünz, Stefan ; Boetius, Antje
    The Aurora hydrothermal system, Arctic Ocean, hosts active submarine venting within an extensive field of relict mineral deposits. Here we show the site is associated with a neovolcanic mound located within the Gakkel Ridge rift-valley floor, but deep-tow camera and sidescan surveys reveal the site to be ≥100 m across-unusually large for a volcanically hosted vent on a slow-spreading ridge and more comparable to tectonically hosted systems that require large time-integrated heat-fluxes to form. The hydrothermal plume emanating from Aurora exhibits much higher dissolved CH/Mn values than typical basalt-hosted hydrothermal systems and, instead, closely resembles those of high-temperature ultramafic-influenced vents at slow-spreading ridges. We hypothesize that deep-penetrating fluid circulation may have sustained the prolonged venting evident at the Aurora hydrothermal field with a hydrothermal convection cell that can access ultramafic lithologies underlying anomalously thin ocean crust at this ultraslow spreading ridge setting. Our findings have implications for ultra-slow ridge cooling, global marine mineral distributions, and the diversity of geologic settings that can host abiotic organic synthesis - pertinent to the search for life beyond Earth.