NW Eifuku Vent



Latitude: 21.486οN              Longitude: 144.043οE             Depth: 1551 m bsl

NW Eifuku is a small volcanic cone (Lupton et al., 2006) in the Northern Seamount Province of the Mariana arc. Venting on this seamount is unique in that its summit vents CO2 rich fluid and cold liquid droplets of CO2. (Lupton et al., 2006).   Lupton et al. (2006) estimate that the high CO2 flux at the Champagne site is about 0.1% of the global MOR carbon flux. Water column chemistry indicates that the vent fluids are enriched in 3He, CO2, CH4, Fe, Mn, suspended particles with a high pH and Eh anomaly. Biological communities including shrimp, crabs, mussels and limpets were also associated with this seamount (Lupton et al., 2006).

Table 1: Operations history for NW Eifuku vent

Ship/ Platform Operation Year Dive Number References
MGLN02MV R/V Melville/ ROV Jason-2 CTD tow-yo;  CTD vertical cast; XBT; 2006

April– May

J2-196 Submarine Ring of Fire, 2006
RR1413 R/V Roger Revelle/ Jason CTD, EM122 multibeam logging, Plankton Net Cast 2014 J2-798; J2-799 Submarine Ring of Fire 2014-Ironman
TN-153 R/V T. G. Thompson EM 300 multibeam; CTD tow-yo 2003 February – March  Not found Submarine Ring of Fire 2003
TN-167 R/V T. G. Thompson CTD tow-yo; ROPOS


March- April

R791- R793 Submarine Ring of Fire 2004

Table 2: Table 2: Vent activity and host rocks

Activity and host rocks References
Activity Active

Baker et al., 2008

Embley et al., 2004

Host Rocks Basalt

Stern et al., 2004

Resing et al., 2009

Table 3: Vent fluid characteristics

Vent Fluids References
Temperature (οC) 47 οC -108 οC   (Champagne fluid)

<4 οC   (liquid CO2 droplets)

Low temperature

Lupton et al., 2008

Lupton et al., 2006

Resing et al., 2009

pH 1


Pala., 2009

Shitashima, 2009

ΔpH -0.305 Resing et al., 2009
Composition Plume was enriched in total dissolved Fe, Mn, CO2, H2S, He Resing et al., 2009
CO2 (mM) 76-2711 Lupton et al., 2008
ΔCO2 (mM) 110 Resing et al., 2009
H2 (mM) 0.00011-0.108 Lupton et al., 2008
Particulate Fe (nmol/kg) 4 Resing et al., 2009
TDMn (nM) 27 Resing et al., 2009
TDFe (nM) 400 Resing et al., 2009
Δ3He (fM) 7.3 Resing et al., 2009
3He (μM) 0.072-6.99 Lupton et al., 2008
CH4 (mM) 0.00016-0.0138 Lupton et al., 2008

* 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
Iron mats -Bacteria Proteobacteria Zetaproteobacteria Submarine Ring of Fire 2014-Ironman
Chemosynthetic mussels Mollusca Bivalvia Mytilidae Bathymodiolus brevior Submarine Ring of Fire 2014-Ironman
Sea Snails (False Limpet) Mollusca Gastropoda Phenacolepadidae Shinkailepas sp. Submarine Ring of Fire 2014-Ironman
Scaleworms Annelida Submarine Ring of Fire 2014-Ironman
Shrimp Arthropoda Malacostraca Alvinocarididae Opaepele loihi Stevens et al., 2008
Shrimp Arthropoda Malacostraca Alvinocarididae Alvinocaris sp.M Stevens et al., 2008
Snails Mollusca Submarine Ring of Fire 2014-Ironman
Squat lobsters Arthropoda Submarine Ring of Fire 2014-Ironman


  1. At NW Eifuku volcano, mussels are so dense in some places that they obscure the bottom. The mussels are ~18 cm (7 in) long. The white galatheid crabs are ~6 cm (2.5 in) long.
  2. White chimneys at Champagne vent site, NW Eifuku volcano. The chimneys are ~20 cm (8 in) across and ~50 cm (20 in) high, venting fluids at 103ºC (217ºF). Notice the droplets in the upper left portion of the image.
  3. Settlement plates that were deployed on our first dive at NW Eifuku are recovered to see what animals may have settled on them since then.
  4. Jason recovers two shrimp traps that were deployed during our first dive at NW Eifuku. 
  5. A basaltic andesite rock at NW Eifuku is covered with Shinkailepas limpets and thousands of their tiny egg capsules (white dots).  One side note about these limpets: like the mussels at NW Eifuku, these limpets had paper thin shells!
  6. Jason takes a sample of with the BioMat sampler at a location on NW Eifuku called Yellow Cone.
  7. The Jason manipulator arms use a Scoop sampler to collect iron-oxidizing microbial mat at NW Eifuku.
  8. The Jason manipulator arm uses a scoop bag to collect mussels at NW Eifuku.
  9. The Champagne vent field at NW Eifuku seamount emits droplets of liquid CO2from the area around these white-smoker hydrothermal vents.
  10. These mussels, shrimp, and limpets living at NW EIfuku seamount all depend on the chemical energy in hydrothermal vents for survival.

Video links:

  1. The Limpets of Northwest Eifuku (note: search “the limpets of”)
  2. NW Eifuku Final Dive (note: search “final dive”)
  3. Microbes Spinning (note: search “zetapro”)
  4. A mountain of mussels (note: search “paradox”)
  5. First dive (note: search “first dive”)
  6. Champagne hydrothermal vent (note: search “Champagne hydrothermal vent”)
  7. Diffuse areas of NW Eifuku (note: search “In some diffuse vent areas”)


  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. Bloomer, S. H., Stern, R. J., Fisk, E., Geschwind, C. H., 1989. Shoshonitic Volcanism in the Northern Mariana Arc. 1. Mineralogic and Major and Trace Element Characteristics. Journal of Geophysical Research 94 (B4), 4469-4496.
  3. Bloomer, S. H., Stern, R. J., Smoot, N. C., 1989. Physical volcanology of the submarine Mariana and Volcano arcs. Bull Volc 51, 210-224.
  4. Dziak, R. P., Baker, E. T., Shaw, A. M., Bohnenstiehl, D. R.,Chadwick, Jr. W. W., Haxel, J. H., Matsumoto, H., Walker, S. L., 2012. Flux measurements of explosive degassing using a yearlong hydroacoustic record at an erupting submarine volcano. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 13, Q0AF07, doi:10.1029/2012GC004211.
  5. 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.
  6. Konno, U., Tsunogai, U., Nakagawa, F., Nakaseama, M., Ishibashi, J.-i., Nunoura, T., Nakamura, K., 2006. Liquid CO2 venting on the seafloor: Yonaguni Knoll IV hydrothermal system, Okinawa Trough. Geophysical Research Letters 33 (16), 1-5.
  7. Lin, P. N., Stern, R. J., Morris, J., Bloomer, S. H., 1990. Nd- and Sr-isotopic compositions of lavas from the northern Mariana and southern Volcano arcs: implications for the origin of island arc melts. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 105, 381-392.
  8. Lupton, J., Butterfield, D., Lilley, M., Evans, L., Nakamura, K.-i., Chadwick, W., Resing, J., Embley, R., Olson, E., Proskurowski, G., Baker, E., de Ronde, C., Roe, K., Greene, R., Lebon, G., Young, C., 2006. Submarine venting of liquid carbon dioxide on a Mariana Arc volcano. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 7 (8), 1-20.
  9. Resing, J. A., Baker, E. T., Lupton, J. E., Walker, S. L., Butterfield, D. A., Massoth, G. J., Nakamura, K., 2009. Chemistry of hydrothermal plumes above submarine volcanoes of the Mariana Arc. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 10 (2), 1-23.
  10. Shitashima, K., 2009. Natural analogue of low pH/high CO2 environment in the ocean at hydrothermal vents. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73.13S: A1214.
  11. Shitashima, K., Maeda, Y., and Ohsumi, T., 2013. Development of detection and monitoring techniques of CO2 leakage from seafloor in sub-seabed CO2 Applied Geochemistry 30, 114-124.
  12. Stern, R. J., N. Basu, E. Kohut, J. Hein, and R. W. Embley., 2004. Petrology and geochemistry of igneous rocks collected in association with ROV investigations of three hydrothermal sites in the Mariana Arc: NW Rota-1, E Diamante, and NW Eifuku, Eos Trans. AGU, 85(47), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract V43F-07.
  13. Stevens, C. J., Limén, H., Pond, D. W., Gélinas, Y., Juniper, S. K., 2008. Ontogenetic shifts in the trophic ecology of two alvinocaridid shrimp species at hydrothermal vents on the Mariana Arc, western Pacific Ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series 356, 225–237.
  14. Watanabe, H., Fujikura, K., Kojima, S., Miyazaki, J., Fujiwara, Y., 2010. Japan: Vents and Seeps in Close Proximity. In: Kiel, S., (Ed.), The Vent and Seep Biota. Springer Netherlands, 33, 379-401.

Website References: