the Deep Sea

The first multi-hectare scale 3D survey of a deep-sea vent community

Blair Thornton and his colleagues investigated the distribution of megabenthos over multi-hectare regions (2.5 ha) of the seafloor of a deep-sea hydrothermal vent site off Japan for the first time.

The study region was the target of scientific drilling during the IODP Expedition 331 in 2010.

The research team surveyed biomass of megabenthos using high- and low-resolution 3D image reconstructions (it goes with Blair Scan) 3 years and 4 months after the site was drilled.

They found more than 100,000 organisms from 6 taxa. The study showed the biomass of the drilled site was lower than observed in nearby naturally discharging areas.


Thornton B, Bodenmann A, Pizarro O, Williams SB, Friedman A,  Nakajima R, Takai K, Motoki K, Watsuji T, Hirayama H, Matsui Y, Watanabe H, Ura T (2016) Biometric assessment of deep-sea vent megabenthic communities using multi-resolution 3D image reconstructions. Deep Sea Research I 116: 200-219.

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