Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

British oceanographers find "smoking" submarine volcano in the Indian Ocean

30.07.2003


At over three thousand metres down in the north-west Indian Ocean, the Carlsberg Ridge is “probably the best ridge in the world”. So say excited scientists from Southampton Oceanography Centre who have just found the first evidence of hydrothermal activity in this previously unexplored area of a volcanic mid-ocean ridge.

The team aboard the research ship RRS Charles Darwin made the discovery on Wednesday 23 July 2003 when they detected a huge plume of smoky water. The plume is at least 600 m thick, over 30 km wide and rises hundreds of metres above the lava-strewn, deep-sea floor.

Dr Bramley Murton, the scientist leading the research cruise, said: “The source of the plume is comparable to a suite of large power stations which continuously churns out vast amounts of heat and smoky water. The energy released could exceed 1000 megawatts.”



Hydrothermal vents occur in areas of sea-floor spreading where volcanic eruptions create new sea floor or ‘ocean crust’. As the molten rock cools and solidifies, water percolates down below the sea floor where it is superheated before gushing out from hot springs or vents at some 300 to 400ºC. The smoky plume comes from iron-rich particles which solidify when the hot, mineral-laden fluids mix with the cold deep-ocean water.

Despite the total darkness and fact that hydrothermal vents are toxic to most living organisms, they typically teem with exotic, specially adapted life forms. Unlike most marine life, the communities of animals found at hydrothermal vents depend on special bacteria which use energy from the chemicals in the water to make organic matter.

Abundant hydrothermal vent life has already been discovered in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In order to find out whether life is also thriving at this Indian Ocean vent, oceanographers hope to return to the Carlsberg Ridge in future with ISIS – SOC’s new deep-diving ROV (remotely operated vehicle).

For further information:

Professor Chris German, Southampton Oceanography Centre, tel: 023 8059 6542, email: cge@soc.soton.ac.uk (before 1 August).
Dr Lindsay Parson, Southampton Oceanography Centre, tel: +44 - 023 8059 6541, email: lmp@soc.soton.ac.uk (from 1 August).

Jackie Kelly | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soc.soton.ac.uk/CHD

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora
27.06.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos
27.06.2017 | CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>