National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1992

NOAA's VENTS program targets oceanic hydrothermal effects

Hammond, S., E. Baker, E. Bernard, G. Massoth, C. Fox, R. Feely, R. Embley, P. Rona, and G. Cannon

Eos Trans. AGU, 72(50), 561, 565–566, doi: 10.1029/90EO00396 (1991)

The VENTS Program was established in 1984 to focus interdisciplinary research of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration on the oceanic effects of hydrothermal activity along seafloor spreading centers. Since then, the accelerating rate of discoveries in this area of research has resulted in increased recognition of the importance of seafloor hydrothermal venting as a fundamental process for transfer of mass and heat from the Earth's interior to its surface—a process that is active intermittently, but not uncommonly, along the entire 60,000 km-long global spreading-center system. As the nation's civilian ocean agency, NOAA undertakes research to understand processes that affect the ocean environment. The VENTS program's highest priority is studies that address large-scale hydrothermal chemical and thermal effects on the ocean, or the potential for such effects, that manifest themselves over relatively short time periods—from years to centuries.

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