Research

Heard/McDonald Islands Submarine Volcanism/Hydrothermalism and Biospheric Impacts

  • Research Theme
    Oceans & Cryosphere
  • Cross-disciplinary Theme(s)
    Climate Change; Ocean-Earth System
  • Funded By

    IMAS - Marine and Antarctic Futures
    From 2014 to 2015

  • Principal Investigator
  • Contributor(s)

    Professor Richard Arculus; Associate Professor Andrew Bowie, A; Dr Zanna Chase; Dr Helen Phillips; Professor Thomas Trull; Dr Jo Whittaker

  • Project Summary

    Heard and McDonald Islands are Australia's only active volcanoes. Surmounting the Kerguelen Plateau in the Southern Ocean, they are surrounded by seafloor that is pierced by small peaks interpreted to represent undersea volcanoes. We will systematically image the seafloor around the islands, investigate interpreted submarine volcanoes for active hydrothermalism, sample the water column downstream of active hydrothermal vents, and look for evidence for contemporaneous phytoplankton blooms. This work will constitute the first test of the hypothesis that hydrothermal activity associated with hotspot volcanoes is responsible for phytoplankton blooms, which , if correct, has significant implications for solid Earth-biosphere linkages in the global carbon cycle.

    Interested in this project?

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
October 30, 2015