Rainbow hydrothermal vent (MAR)
Serpentinite (SWIR)
Sulfide mineralization, Saldanha (MAR)

WELCOME to the SWIMAR project!

SWIMAR – The role of ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems in the formation of seafloor deposits: comparison between SWIR and MAR fields / 超基性岩系海底熱泉系統於海床熱液礦床扮演之角色:以 SWIR MAR 熱泉系統相互比較為例 

The project brings together researchers in Mainland China, Macao and Europe to investigate the role of ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems in the formation of massive sulphide deposits. The project provides an excellent opportunity to combine samples from ultramafic fields from MAR, collected by the European partners, and from SWIR, collected by the Chinese partners, to take a comparative and original approach to this question. 

Project reference: FDCT0002/2018/A1 (2018-2021)


Principal Investigator (PI); ISE, USJ, Macau (PhD)

Team member; SIO, SOA,  China (PhD)

Team member; IDL, FCUL, Portugal (PhD)

Qiu Wenhong Johnson – 邱文洪

 Team member; SWIMAR Postdoc position (PhD)

Yafei Wu

Team member; FDCT Postdoc position (PhD)

Pedro Costa

PhD Student and Research Assistant (MSc)

Ricardo Borges

Research Assistant (MSc)

Ding Teng – 丁腾

Collaborator from the Institute of Marine Geology, College of Oceanography, Hohai University (PhD)

Shili Liao – 廖时理

Collaborator from SIO, KLSG, SOA, Hangzhou, China (PhD)

Lucia Ivorra Gonzalez

Former Research Assistant / PhD student

Dicky, Wong Tik Man – 黃迪雯

Former Research assistant


The discovery of hydrothermal fields on the seafloor was one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the last century. However, despite the incredible progresses made over the last few decades, still little is known about how mineral deposits associated with hydrothermal systems are formed on the seafloor. This lack of knowledge is even more pronounced for ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems, likely to hold more significant mineral deposits than basalt-hosted systems. This project aims to contribute to (1) our understanding of the geochemical and mineralogical changes that take place within hydrothermal systems, (2) clarify the role of serpentinization reactions in the formation of mineral deposits and (3) provide new insights into the formation of seafloor massive sulphide deposits, characterizing the main differences between mafic and ultramafic hydrothermal systems. Moreover, by characterizing the chemical processes operating in ultramafic hydrothermal settings, the project aims to contribute towards the development of new survey geochemical methods to be used in the detection of ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal fields.


海底熱泉的發現被視為上世紀科學界的一項重大發現。儘管在過去數十年中有著驚人的進展,但我們 對於海床成礦機制與熱液系統間相互作用的瞭解仍然匱乏。我們對於重要的成礦系統-超基性岩系熱 液系統的認知更是少於玄武岩系熱液系統。
(1). 熱液系統內發生的地球化學與礦物學的改變;(2). 成礦機制中蛇紋岩化作用扮演的角色;(3). 提出 形成海床塊形硫化礦床機制的新觀點,特別是對於基性與超基性熱液系統間的差別。 進一步來說,本研究旨在闡述超基性熱液系統內的化學過程,同时發展一套全新的地球化學觀測方法 應用於探索超基性岩系熱液系統。

Publications and communications

  • Ding T, Wang J, Tao C, Dias Á A, Liang J, Wang Y, Chen J, Wu B, Huang H. (2022) Trace-element compositions of sulfides from inactive Tianzuo hydrothermal field, Southwest Indian Ridge: implications for ultramafic rocks hosting mineralization. Ore Geology Reviews, 104421: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169136821004479
  • Yu J,Tao C, Liaob S, Dias Á A, Liang J,Yangb W, Zhud C (2021) Resource estimation of the sulfide-rich deposits of the Yuhuang-1 hydrothermal field on the ultraslow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge. Ore Geology Reviews, 104169 : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oregeorev.2021.104169
  • Ding T, Tao C, Dias Á A. Liang J, Chen J, Wu B, Zhang R, Liao S, Wang Y, Yang W, Liu J, Li W, Zhang G, Huang H (2020) Sulfur isotopic compositions of sulfides along the Southwest Indian Ridge: implications for sulfide mineralization in ultramafic rocks. Mineralium Deposita. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00126-020-01025-0
  • Dias Á A, Qiu W, Barriga FJAS & Tao C (2020) Sub-Seafloor Sulfide Mineralization in the Saldanha Hydrothermal Field, Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Goldschmidt2020
  • Qiu W, Dias ÁA, Costa IMA & Barriga F (2020) Ore-Forming Process of the Menez Gwen Hydrothermal Field: In situ S Isotopes and Trace Metals Constraints Goldschmidt2020
  • Costa P & Dias Á (2020) Oxyhydroxide Hydrothermal Crusts from Saldanha Hydrothermal Field Goldschmidt2020
  • Milinovic J, Dias Á A, Janeiro A. Pereira M. Martins S, Petersen, SIM and Barriga F J A SIM (2020) XRD identification of ore minerals during cruises: Refinement of extraction procedure with sodium acetate buffer. Minerals. 10(2), 160. 1-19 https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020160
  • Liao S, Tao C, Dias Á A, Su X, Yang Z, Ni, Liang J, Yang W, Liu J, Li W, Dong C (2019) Surface sediment composition and distribution of hydrothermal derived elements at the Duanqiao-1 hydrothermal field, Southwest Indian Ridge. Marine Geology. 416, 105975. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2019.105975
  • Dias ÁA, Costa P, Marques AF, Ribeiro L, Madureira P, Calado A, Gonçalves E & Morato T (2019) Geochemistry of Fe-Si-(Mn) Chimneys from Luso Vent Field, MAR. Goldschmidt2019. 416, 10i. Barcelona (August ). https://goldschmidt.info/2019/abstracts/abstractView?id=2019003072
  • Costa P and Dias Á A. (2019) Hydrothermal Fe-Mn deposits from low-temperature systems of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. InterRidge Workshop on Hydrothermal Ore-forming Processes, Hangzhou (September)
  • Qiu W, Dias Á A, Barriga F, Tao C (2019) Sulfide mineralization of the Saldanha hydrothermal field (MAR): constraints from sulfur isotope in-situ microanalysis. InterRidge Workshop on Hydrothermal Ore-forming Processes, Hangzhou (September)
  • Qiu W, Dias Á A, Costa P (2019) Hydrothermal Field at Mid-Atlantic Ridge, near Azores (Portugal): new perspective with the SWIMAR project. The 17th annual academic conference on Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry, No.11-7. Hangzhou, China