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18O/16O variations in deep-sea carbonate shells from the Rise hydrothermal field

Abstract

Active hydrothermal vents have recently been discovered1 on the East Pacific Rise near 21° N (Fig. 1). Exotic benthic communities similar to those at the Galapagos vents2 thrive around many of the vents. Some of these animals have calcium carbonate shells which presumably contain a temperature record in the oxygen isotopes of the carbonate. These provide an opportunity to investigate the temperature preferences of the organisms and, perhaps, the history of temperature variation near the vents. We report here stable oxygen and carbon isotope measurements made on clam shells and on a barnacle collected near the RISE vents from the submersible Alvin at a water depth of 2,600 m (Fig. 1).

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