AURORA: Unravelling hidden processes at the Aurora seamount: connectivity and biogeography of hydrothermal vents in the deep Arctic Ocean


Lissette Victorero

CESAM Responsible researcher

Lissette Victorero


Norwegian Research Council


01/01/2020 - 28/02/2023

Funding for CESAM

7200 € €

Total Funding

346885 € €

Funding Entity

Norwegian Research Council

Proponent Institution

Norwegian Institute for Water Research

Participating Institutions

  • Universidade de Aveiro

Understanding the role played by deep Arctic ecosystems in global biodiversity, ecosystem function and services is important in the current changing oceans. New knowledge on these still pristine ecosystems and, in particular, understanding population connectivity, are critical when defining spatial management strategies. The complex deep Arctic ecosystems on the Gakkel Ridge have been suggested as pathways for larval dispersal between ocean basins, but visual confirmation of the first Arctic vents under sea-ice, the Aurora vent field (82.5°N), was not obtained until 2014, and the dispersal potential of vent fauna remains poorly understood and entirely unknown for Arctic communities. AURORA will push forward the frontiers of deep-sea and Arctic research, in collaboration with the FRINATEK-HACON project (, unraveling the physical, bathymetric and ecological processes that drive population connectivity of vent and seamount species in the Arctic.The overall goal of AURORA is to evaluate the role of the Gakkel Ridge as a connectivity pathway between ocean basins and asses its biogeographic status at the global scale, producing novel knowledge of a pristine region as well as essential scientifically-robust data for future management plans.