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Deepest black smokers ever discovered


Hot enough to melt lead

And we wonder what is heating our seas

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12 Apr 10 - Until now, the deepest known volcanic vents stood some 4.2 km (2.6 miles) below the ocean's surface. But last week, British scientists aboard the RRS James Cook discovered black smokers some 5 km (3.1 miles) down in the Cayman Trough in the Caribbean, a full half-mile deeper than any previously known vents.  

Photo released by the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, England,
shows a cloud of smoky water billowing from the top of a multicolored spire of
metal ore at a volcanic vent

The giant volcanic chimneys, up to two stories tall, are named for the black iron sulfide compound that they spew out of their tops. White smokers are cooler and often contain white compounds.

Experts say the superheated waters inside the vents can reach 750 degrees F (400 C) - hot enough to melt lead - and could contain undiscovered marine species and perhaps even clues to the origin of life on earth.

         Hot enough to melt lead. And we wonder what is heating our seas.

Intense pressure 500 times stronger than the earth's atmosphere keeps the water from boiling. The pressure is equivalent to the weight of a large car pushing down on every square inch of the creatures that live there, the researchers say.

Even though the heat and pressure combine with toxic metals to form a highly acidic environment, the vents host lush colonies of exotic animals such as blind shrimp, giant white crabs, and tubeworms.

"We've only seen a tiny fraction of the deep sea floor so there are undoubtedly many more vents and other amazing things to discover," said expedition leader and marine biologist  Dr Jon Copley

"We know more about the surface of the Moon and Mars than we do about our own planet because two-thirds of our planet is covered by ocean making it very hard to explore."

          Right on, Dr. Copley! We know more about the surface of the Moon
          than we do about underwater volcanoes. I've been saying that for years.

          We have no idea how many underwater volcanoes there may be. (Latest
          estimates place the figure at well over 3,000,000!) We have no idea how
          much heat they're pumping into the seas.

         And yet, our so-called leaders are hell-bent on passing laws to control
        "global warming."

                                                                .....

         "The real fact is that oceans are the drivers of atmospheric carbon
           dioxide levels but that has never yet occurred to the climate alarmists;
           it would destroy their little world, poor souls, says analytical chemist
           Hans Schreuder. They want to save the world, after all!"

See more about this new discovery at any of these sites:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/eu_britain_volcanic_vent

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/100412-worlds-deepest-undersea-volcanic-ve nts-hydrothermal/

http://home.mytelus.com/telusen/portal/NewsChannel.aspx?CatID=Oddities&ArticleID=news/ capfeed/oddities/K041202AU.xml

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100411/sc_livescience/worldsdeepestunderseaventsdiscovered

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8611771.stm
Thanks to Jim Souchek, Richard Peters, Tom Myer, Cam McNaughton and Hans Schreuder for these links


See also:

Video of hydrothermal vents

Hydrothermal Vents Found in Arctic Ocean

Deep-Sea "Smoker" Vent's Rumble Reveals Ocean Clues

Hydrothermal 'Megaplume' Found in Indian Ocean

Earth's Hottest 'Bods' May Belong to Worms

Pictures of hydrothermal vents

 

 
 



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