This award supports a project to search for hydrothermal vents in the Bransfield Straits region of the Antarctic Peninsula. This region contains a rift which has formed on thinned continental crust. Hydrothermal vents thought to be associated with this rift contribute to heat and mass fluxes in this region of the ocean and may host unusual communities of organisms. The vent survey will be accomplished by towing an instrument package called the ZAPS sled near the bottom, approximately 2 kilometers deep. The instruments on the sled measure metal content of the sea water and other parameters that allow detection of plumes from hydrothermal vents. When indications of a plume are detected, the survey is altered to follow the plume back to its source. In this fashion, vents should be located and a general map of hydrothermal emanations from the rift will be constructed. When combined with the swath bathymetry, a sub-sea topographic map with hydrothermal vents location will be produced. This information will be used for assessing the contribution of the Bransfield Strait rift to global heat and mass fluxes associated with spreading ridges and will be important to assessing the potential for future research associated with vent biota at high latitudes.