: A previously undocumented shallow water hydrothermal field from Sicily (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy) is here described, based on a multidisciplinary investigation. The field, covering an area of nearly 8000 m2 and a depth from the surface to -5 m, was explored in June 2021 to characterise the main physico-chemical features of the water column, describe the bottom topography and features, and identify the main megabenthic and nektonic species. Twenty sites were investigated to characterise the carbonate system. Values of pH ranged between 7.84 and 8.04, ΩCa between 3.68 and 5.24 and ΩAr from 2.41 to 3.44. Geochemical analyses of hydrothermal gases revealed a dominance of CO2 (98.1%) together with small amounts of oxygen and reactive gases. Helium isotope ratios (R/Ra = 2.51) and δ13CCO2 suggest an inorganic origin of hydrothermal degassing of CO2 and the ascent of heat and deep-seated magmatic fluids to the surface. Visual census of fishes and megabenthos (mainly sessile organisms) allowed the identification of 64 species, four of which are protected by the SPA/BIO Protocol and two by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The macroalgae Halopteris scoparia and Jania rubens and the sponge Sarcotragus sp. were the dominant taxa in the area, while among fishes Coris julis and Chromis chromis were the most abundant species. This preliminary investigation of San Giorgio vent field suggests that the site could be of interest and suitable for future experimental studies of ocean acidification.

Characterization of an undocumented CO2 hydrothermal vent system in the Mediterranean Sea: Implications for ocean acidification forecasting

Michela D’Alessandro
;
Maria Cristina Gambi
;
Marcella Di Bella;Valentina Esposito;Martina Kralj;Giuseppe Sabatino;Lidia Urbini;Cinzia De Vittor
2024-01-01

Abstract

: A previously undocumented shallow water hydrothermal field from Sicily (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy) is here described, based on a multidisciplinary investigation. The field, covering an area of nearly 8000 m2 and a depth from the surface to -5 m, was explored in June 2021 to characterise the main physico-chemical features of the water column, describe the bottom topography and features, and identify the main megabenthic and nektonic species. Twenty sites were investigated to characterise the carbonate system. Values of pH ranged between 7.84 and 8.04, ΩCa between 3.68 and 5.24 and ΩAr from 2.41 to 3.44. Geochemical analyses of hydrothermal gases revealed a dominance of CO2 (98.1%) together with small amounts of oxygen and reactive gases. Helium isotope ratios (R/Ra = 2.51) and δ13CCO2 suggest an inorganic origin of hydrothermal degassing of CO2 and the ascent of heat and deep-seated magmatic fluids to the surface. Visual census of fishes and megabenthos (mainly sessile organisms) allowed the identification of 64 species, four of which are protected by the SPA/BIO Protocol and two by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The macroalgae Halopteris scoparia and Jania rubens and the sponge Sarcotragus sp. were the dominant taxa in the area, while among fishes Coris julis and Chromis chromis were the most abundant species. This preliminary investigation of San Giorgio vent field suggests that the site could be of interest and suitable for future experimental studies of ocean acidification.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/28423
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