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Recent studies on shallow submarine hydrothermal vents (at water depths <200 m below sea level [mbsl]) suggest that their activity could have been responsible for the formation of oxide, sulfide, and precious metal–bearing ores.

The boundary between shallow and deep hydrothermal vents has been established at a depth of 200 mbsl, which represents an abrupt change in the environmental parameters and in the structure of the biotic communities. Shallow submarine vents support complex biotic communities, characterized by the coexistence and competition of chemosynthetic and photosynthetic organisms. Some biogeochemical and biomineralizing processes related to chemosynthesis are similar to those described in...

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