Rainbow Massif Field Study uri icon

DCO ID 11121/7925-3682-5855-9242-CC


  • Understanding interactions between mantle rocks, fluids and subsurface microbial ecosystems is one of the main decadal goals of the new IODPscience plan and is a major research theme of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) community.

    The Rainbow massif, located at 36°14’N along the mid-Atlantic ridge (MAR), is one of the most spectacular expressions of the interplay between magmatic, tectonic, hydrothermal, and biological processes at slow-spreading ridges. It hosts the Rainbow hydrothermal field that is rooted in deep-seated rocks (gabbroic and mantle rocks) most probably exhumed along a detachment fault now thought to be inactive. A great amount of work has been conducted at the Rainbow site in recent years. However, to fully understand the functioning of the hydrothermal system, direct observation and sampling of the subsurface are still required and can be achieved only by drilling.