Esmeralda Vent



Latitude: 14.958οN                  Longitude: 145.246οE             Depth: 54 m bsl

(note: location matches with the “Esmerelda Crater and East Flank” of Okeanos Explorer 2016)

Esmeralda Bank is one of the active submarine volcanoes in the Southern Seamount Province of the Mariana arc. The active hydrothermalism was observed and sampled in 1990 where the vent waters have minimum temperature of 78.5~C (Stϋben et al., 1992). Fluids also have elevated levels of TDFe, TDMn, CO2, 3He, CH4, and ΔpH. Fe was found entirely in the particulate phase while Mn was 100% dissolved. No H2S was detected in samples from Esmeralda (Resing et al., 2009).

Table 1: Operations history for Esmeralda vent

Ship/ Platform Operation Year Dive Number References
MGLN02MV R/V Melville/ ROV Jason-2 Not found 2006 April J2-190 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: ROV JASON/MEDEA: Operations Summary (note: click “Files- operations summary”)
NT 0517 R/V Natsushima/  Hyper-dolphin Not found 2005 October HPD#0487 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: ROV JASON/MEDEA: Operations Summary (note: click “Files- operations summary”)
EX1605/Deep Discoverer CTD, Scanning sonar 2016 May (Leg 1) 19 Okeanos Explorer 2016 dive summary

Table 2: Vent activity and host rocks

Activity and host rocks References
 Activity Active Stϋben et al., 1992; Baker et al., 2008; Embley et al., 2004
Host Rocks Basalt-Andesite

Basaltic and basaltic andesite

Embley et al., 2007

Stern et al., 1984

Table 3: Vent fluid characteristics

Vent Fluids References
Temperature (οC) Low T (< ~100°C)

50°C -78.5°C

Embley et al., 2007;

Turkay et al., 1995

ΔpH -0.1000 Resing et al., 2009
Composition CO2 and HCO3 rich fluids

CO2 and Alkalinity, Fe

Resing et al., 2009
ΔCO2 (mM) 64 Resing et al., 2009
Particulate Fe (nmol/kg) 1048 Resing et al., 2009
TDMn (nM) 78 Resing et al., 2009
TDFe (nM) 1270 Resing et al., 2009
Δ3He (fM) 4.3 Resing et al., 2009
CH4 (nM) 20 Resing et al., 2009

* ΔpH, ΔCO2 – Measured relative to the regional background; Δ3He – Measured above the background.

Table 4: Vent Biology

General name Phylum Class/Order Family Species References
 Arthropoda Arthropoda Decapoda Xenograpsidae Xenograpsus novaeinsularis Turkay et al., 1995
Arthropoda Decapoda Callianassidae Paraglypturus calderus Turkay et al., 1995
Crinoids Echinodermata Crinoidea JAMSTEC E-library of Deep-sea Images (JEDI) (note search “Esmeralda”)


Video Links:


  1. Baker, E. T., Embley, R. W., Walker, S. L., Resing, J. A., Lupton, J. E., Nakamura, K., de Ronde, C. E. J., Massoth, G. J., 2008. Hydrothermal activity and volcano distribution along the Mariana arc: Journal of Geophysical Research 113 (B8), 1-16.
  2. Embley, R. W., Baker, E. T., Chadwick, W. W. JR., Lupton, J. E., Resing, J. A., Massoth, G. J., Nakamura, K., 2004. Explorations of Mariana Arc. Eos 85 (4), 37-44.
  3. Embley, R. W., Baker, E. T., Butterfield, D. A., Chadwick, W. W. Jr., Lupton, J. E., Resing, J. A., de Ronde, C. E. J., Nakamura, K., Tunnicliffe, V., Dower, J. F., Merle, S. G., 2007. Exploring the submarine ring of fire: Mariana Arc- Western Pacific, Oceanography 20, 68–79.
  4. Resing, J. A., Baker, E. T., Lupton, J. E., Walker, S. L., Butterfield, D. A., Massoth, G. J., and Nakamura, K., 2009, Chemistry of hydrothermal plumes above submarine volcanoes of the Mariana Arc: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 10 (2), doi:10.1029/2008GC002141.
  5. Stern, R. J., Bibee, L. d., 1984. Esmeralda Bank: Geochemistry of an active submarine volcano in the Mariana Island Arc. Contrib Mineral Petrol. 86, 159 169.
  6. Stϋben, D., Bloomer, S.H., Taibi, N.E., Th. Neumann., Bendel, V., Pϋschel, U., Barone, A., Lange, A., Shiying, Wu., Cuizhor, Li, Deyu, Zhang., 1992. First results of study of Sulphur-rich hydrothermal activity from an island-arc environment: Esmeralda Bank in the Mariana Arc Marine Geology, 103, 521-528.
  7. Türkay, M., Sakai, K. A. T. S. U. S. H. I., 1995. Decapod crustaceans from a volcanic hot spring in the Marianas. Senckenbergiana maritima, 26(1), 25-36.

Website References:

  1. JAMSTEC E-library of Deep-sea Images (JEDI) (11/26/2015)
  2. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: ROV JASON/MEDEA: Operations Summary (11/26/2015)

Website References:

  1. NOAA Okeanos Explorer, 2016 (11/26/2015)