This dataset is an animation showing the discoveries of deep-sea hydrothermal vents from 1977-2016 (cumulative, annually). In 1977 scientists made a stunning discovery that changed our understanding of life on Earth. On the deep seafloor they had discovered hot springs, or hydrothermal vents, with animals that had never been seen before. These discoveries continue today. Over 240 vent fields have been discovered with human-occupied, remotely-operated, and autonomous vehicles.
This subset of the InterRidge Vents Database maps the locations of the total known (241) deep-sea vent fields that were confirmed active by observations at the seafloor at depths greater than 200 m, as of year 2016. Note: a vent field is a cluster of vent sites in relatively close proximity (i.e., on the order of 0.1-1 km).
This dataset shows deep-sea vent discoveries, using star icons, through time over the ETOPO1 base image. The dataset includes additional image files: icons (which can be used as a pointer or stamped on the image) including deep-diving vehicles Alvin and Jason. We recommend also using the overlay Plate Boundaries - Colorized to show the connection between deep-sea vents and plate boundaries.