Blue Moon Vent



Latitude: 15.718οN                  Longitude: 147.177οE             Depth: 3696 m bsl

Blue Moon Seamount is a serpentinite seamount (Fryer, 2012) located close to the trench in the Mariana forearc (Hulme et al., 2010). This is also amongst the foreacr seamounts associated with earthquakes (Fryer, 2012). Curtis et al., (2013) state that a novel archaeal subsurface community is present in the mudflows at Blue Moon Seamount.

Table 1: Operations history for Blue Moon vent

Ship/ Platform Operation Year Dive Number References
TN-154 Thompson ROV Jason-2 Not found 2003 April J2-039, J2-040 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: ROV JASON/MEDEA: Operations Summary (note: click “Files- operations summary”)
YK03-07 Yokosuka/ Shinkai 6500 Not found 2003 July 781 YK03-07 cruise report

Table 2: Activity and Rock types

Activity and Host Rocks References
Activity Active upwelling of fluids and associated with earthquakes Mottl et al., 2004; Fryer., 2012
Host Rocks Serpentinite Fryer., 2012

Table 3: Vent fluid characteristics

Bottom seawater Vent Fluids References
Distance from the trench (km) 55  IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Maximum flow (cm/yr) 10.6  Hulme et al., 2010
pH 8 >8.2  IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Composition Ca, Sr -rich, low-alkalinity, and low Mg Wheat et al., 2008
Alkalinity (meq/kg) 2.3 3 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Clorinity (mmol/kg) 542 459 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Sulfate  (mmol/kg) 28 27.5 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Maximum sulfide (μmol/kg) 0 275 Hulme et al., 2010
Ca (mmol/kg) 10.2 61.9 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Na (mmol/kg) 466 388 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Na/Cl (molar) 0.86 0.846 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
K (mmol/kg) 10.1 4.4 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Li (μmol/kg) 26 4.9 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Rb (μmol/kg) 1.37 0.3 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Cs (μmol/kg) 0.0022 0.0159 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Sr (μmol/kg) 90 724 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Ba (μmol/kg) 0.14 0.53 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
B (μmol/kg) 410 370 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Mn (μmol/kg) 0 0.02 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal
Fe (μmol/kg) 0 5.8 IODP-MCME 366 Proposal

* IODP-MCME 366- International Ocean Discovery Program-Mariana Convergent Margin Expedition 366.

Table 4: Vent Biology

General name Phylum Class/Order References
Archaea Crenarchaeota Mottl et al., 2003

Curtis et al., 2013

Archaea Euryarchaeota

Mottl et al., 2003

Curtis et al., 2013

Anthozoa Cnidaria Anthozoa

JAMSTEC E-library of Deep-sea Images(J-EDI)(note: search “Blue Moon”)

Crinoid Echinodermata Comatulida

JAMSTEC E-library of Deep-sea Images(J-EDI)(note: search “Blue Moon”)

Shrimp Arthropoda Decapoda

JAMSTEC E-library of Deep-sea Images(J-EDI)(note: search “Blue Moon”)

Sponge Porifera

JAMSTEC E-library of Deep-sea Images(J-EDI)(note: search “Blue Moon”)


Video Links:


  1. Curtis, A. C., Wheat, C. G., Fryer, P., Moyer, C. L., 2013. Mariana Forearc Serpentinite Mud Volcanoes Harbor Novel Communities of Extremophilic Archaea. Geomicrobiology Journal 30 (5), 430-441.
  2. Fryer, P., 2012. Serpentinite Mud Volcanism: Observations, Processes, and Implications. Annu. Rev. Mar. Sci. 4, 345–373.
  3. Hulme, S. M., Wheat, C. G., Fryer, P., Mottl, M. J., 2010. Pore water chemistry of the Mariana serpentinite mud volcanoes: A window to the seismogenic zone. Geochemistry geophysics geosysems 11(1), Q01X09, doi: 10.1029/2009GC002674.
  4. Mottl, M. J., Wheat, C. G., Fryer, P., Gharib, J., Martin, J. B., 2004. Chemistry of springs across the Mariana forearc shows progressive devolatilization of the subducting plate. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 68 (23), 4915–4933.
  5. Wheat, C., Fryer, P., Fisher, A., Hulme, S., Jannasch, H., Mottl, M., Becker, K., 2008. Borehole observations of fluid flow from South Chamorro Seamount, an active serpentinite mud volcano in the Mariana forearc. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 267 (3-4), 401-409.

Website References:


  1. IODP Mariana Convergent Margin Expedition 366, unpublished IODP proposal (accessed 11/24/2015)
  2. JAMSTEC (Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology) E-library of Deep-sea Images (JEDI) (accessed 11/24/2015)
  3. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: ROV JASON/MEDEA: Operations Summary (accessed 11/24/2015)


Website References:

  1. Yokosuka Cruise Report YK03-07