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Message Subject 5.8 Carlsberg Ridge
Poster Handle Earth420
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Not a lot of activity Ive seen from this area… Heres the last time I really saw anything on it…

[link to www.geolsoc.org.uk]

First smoker found on Carlsberg Ridge - probably July 30, 2003

Scientists from Southampton Oceanography Centre have found evidence of hydrothermal activity in a previously unexplored area of volcanic ridge in the Indian Ocean.
The team aboard the research ship RRS Charles Darwin made the discovery on Wednesday 23 July when they detected a huge plume of smoky water. The pall is thought to be at least 600m thick and over 30km wide.
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 that 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).
You can follow the daily progress of the Carlsberg Ridge Cruise via SOC’s [email protected] website ( [link to www.soc.soton.ac.uk]

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