Report

Clams As Recorders of Ocean Ridge Volcanism and Hydrothermal Vent Field Activity

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Science  08 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5365, pp. 883-886
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5365.883

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Abstract

The clam Calyptogena magnifica lives at abyssal depths in association with hydrothermal venting on midocean ridges. Analysis of strontium/calcium ratios in C. magnifica shells provides a temperature proxy with submonthly time resolution. A 21-year strontium/calcium record of two clams from 9°50′N on the East Pacific Rise captures the known 1991 and 1992 eruptive events, documents several additional events between 1992 and 1996, and demonstrates the absence of major hydrothermal episodes during the period 1974 to 1991. These clam archives can increase our understanding of the thermal and chemical history of midocean ridge hydrothermal and volcanic activity on decadal time scales.

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