Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Kind of Hydrothermal Vent System Found in Caribbean

04.01.2016

Researchers from the University of Southampton (UK) have identified hydrothermal vents in the deep sea of the Caribbean which are unlike any found before.

Collaborating with colleagues at the National Oceanography Centre, the team has revealed active vents in the Von Damm Vent Field (VDVF) that are unusual in their structure, formed largely of talc, rather than the more usual sulphide minerals.


National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

The main vent at the Von Damm vent field


National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

High resolution 3D bathymetry of the Von Damm vent field

Lead researcher Matthew Hodgkinson and colleagues analysed samples from the VDVF – a vent field south of the Cayman Islands discovered by scientists and crew on board the RRS James Cook in 2010. Results of the analysis are now published in the journal Nature Communications.


Matthew comments: “This vent site is home to a community of fauna similar to those found at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the Atlantic Ocean, but the minerals and chemistry at the Von Damm site are very different to any other known vents.”

Hydrothermal vents form in areas where the Earth’s tectonic plates are spreading. At these sites, circulating seawater is heated by magma below the seafloor and becomes more acidic – leaching metals from the surrounding rocks and redepositing them as the hot water spews out of vents or ‘chimneys’ at the seabed and hits the cold seawater.

The scientists have also found the VDVF system has a very energetic heat flux (the amount of energy it emits into the surrounding ocean) of around 500 megawatts. This is much more than would be expected since the VDVF, on the slopes of an underwater mountain and away from a large magma supply, is on the edge of a spreading area and not in between two separating tectonic plates. The unusual positioning of this new vent field suggests that other similar ones elsewhere in the world may have been overlooked.


Matthew Hodgkinson adds: “If more of these unusual sites exist they could be important contributors in the exchange of chemicals and heat between the Earth’s interior and the oceans, and may be missing from current global assessments of hydrothermal impact on the oceans.”

Notes for editors:

1) For images from the Von Damm Vent Field and a copy of the paper Talc-dominated seafloor deposits reveal a new class of hydrothermal system
(Matthew R.S. Hodgkinson, Alexander P. Webber, Stephen Roberts,
Rachel A. Mills, Douglas P. Connelly & Bramley J. Murton, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10150) please contact Peter Franklin, Media Relations, University of Southampton Tel 023 8059 5457 Email p.franklin@southampton.ac.uk


2) Through world-leading research and enterprise activities, the University of Southampton connects with businesses to create real-world solutions to global issues. Through its educational offering, it works with partners around the world to offer relevant, flexible education, which trains students for jobs not even thought of. This connectivity is what sets Southampton apart from the rest; we make connections and change the world.

www.southampton.ac.uk/weareconnected
#weareconnected


3) The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is the UK’s leading institution for integrated coastal and deep ocean research. NOC undertakes and facilitates world-class agenda-setting scientific research to understand the global ocean by solving challenging multidisciplinary, large scale, long-term marine science problems to underpin international and UK public policy, business and wider society outcomes.

NOC operates the Royal Research Ships James Cook and Discovery and develops technology for coastal and deep ocean research. Working with its partners NOC provides long-term marine science capability including: sustained ocean observing, mapping and surveying; data management and scientific advice.

NOC operates at two sites, Southampton and Liverpool, with the headquarters based in Southampton.

Among the resources that NOC provides on behalf of the UK are the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC), the Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS) facility, the National Tide and Sea Level Facility (NTSLF), the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) and British Ocean Sediment Core Research Facility (BOSCORF).

The National Oceanography Centre is wholly owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
  www.noc.ac.uk
For further information contact:

Peter Franklin, Media Relations, University of Southampton, Tel: 023 8059 5457, Email: p.franklin@southampton.ac.uk

www.soton.ac.uk/mediacentre/

Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/unisouthampton

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/unisouthampton

Peter Franklin | newswise

Further reports about: Hydrothermal deep ocean magma tectonic plates

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Modeling magma to find copper
13.01.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How gut bacteria can make us ill

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

On track to heal leukaemia

18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>