Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research trip to the clouds in the sea

12.02.2018

Dark clouds of smoke - released by underwater volcanoes located in water depths between 700 and 1800 meters below the surface - rise from the seabed. What exactly these clouds contain and how far their constituents are spread throughout the ocean is the research topic of an international group of scientists. They include a five-strong team from Jacobs University headed by 31-year-old geochemist Dr. Charlotte Kleint.

On June 1, a total of 36 scientists will board the German research vessel “Sonne” for expedition SO263 at the port of Suva, the capital city of the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific. Their destination is a two-day trip away: the Tonga arc, an island arc with dozens of volcanoes at the bottom of the sea.


The underwater robot ROV Quest takes water samples at a so-called "black smoker" on the seabed.

Photo: MARUM


Charlotte Kleint with guest scientist Jan Hartmann (left) and former undergraduate student Nico Fröhberg filling in water samples during the research trip SO253.

Photo: Marie Heidenreich

Down there, temperatures can reach up to 300 degrees Celsius. But what exactly are the underwater volcanoes spewing? This is what the researchers want to find out. “We will take different water samples, directly at the source as well as along the entire water column up to the surface”, says Charlotte Kleint.

They are mainly interested in the concentration and distribution of trace metals such as iron, an important nutrient for all living beings, which even the tiniest of marine organisms need and which is presumed to make an important contribution to the growth of plankton.

But how does the iron get into the oceans? For a long time, scientists assumed that iron is transported into the oceans mainly via rivers and continental dust dispersions. However, the hydrothermal vents along the Tonga arc and the neighboring Kermadec arc could also play an important role as their fluids are mostly extremely rich in iron, and their elements enter the water column at often relatively low depths of just a few hundred meters.

Researchers under the direction of Prof. Dr. Andrea Koschinsky, geochemistry professor at Jacobs University, undertook a research trip to the Kermadec arc, north of New Zealand, last year; Charlotte Kleint was also amongst them. This new research cruise is directly linked to the findings of the previous trip, expedition SO253.

However, before the contents of an underwater cloud can be measured, they must first be found. A water sampler with multiple online sensors, including a turbidity sensor, is used for this purpose. Depending on the currents, the cloud itself can be dispersed over several kilometers.

“Quest”, the deep-sea robot by MARUM (University of Bremen) will be used to take samples directly at the source of the smoke, the hydrothermal vents. Apart from fluids, it will also sample rocks, ores and organisms such as mussels. What is Charlotte Kleint hoping for? “Spectacular images of the hydrothermal systems and obtaining as many different and interesting samples as possible”. Their analysis will already begin on board, but will keep the researchers busy for a long time after the end of the four-week expedition.

More information:
https://www.jacobs-university.de/news/forscher-untersuchen-spektakulare-heisse-q...
https://www.jacobs-university.de/department/physics-earth-sciences

Questions will be answered by:
Dr. Charlotte Kleint | Postdoctoral fellow, Workgroup Prof. Koschinsky
c.kleint@jacobs-university.de| Tel.: +49 421 200- 3257

About Jacobs University:
Jacobs University is a private, independent, English-medium university in Bremen. Young people from all over the world study here in preparatory, Bachelor, Master, and PhD programs. Internationality and transdisciplinarity are special features of Jacobs University: research and teaching don’t just pursue a single approach, they address issues from the perspectives of multiple disciplines. This principle makes Jacobs graduates highly sought-after new talents who successfully strike out on international career paths.

For more information: www.jacobs-university.de

Contact:
Thomas Joppig | Brand Management, Marketing & Communications
t.joppig@jacobs-university.de | Tel.: +49 421 200-4504

Thomas Joppig | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Mineral discoveries in the Galapagos Islands pose a puzzle as to their formation and origin
19.10.2018 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Massive organism is crashing on our watch
18.10.2018 | S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: how DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles

19.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Thin films from Braunschweig on the way to Mercury

19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

App-App-Hooray! - Innovative Kits for AR Applications

19.10.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>