Hydrothermal vents discovered: Before the Island, the sea floor is Smoking

In contrast to most inland lakes is the sea salty. The reason for this is billion tons in sea water of dissolved minerals. The biggest part comes from the conti

Hydrothermal vents discovered: Before the Island, the sea floor is Smoking

In contrast to most inland lakes is the sea salty. The reason for this is billion tons in sea water of dissolved minerals. The biggest part comes from the continents and carried by rivers to the sea. The soluble substances in the case of the constant Erosion of rocks in the mountains, and soils in the lowlands. A small proportion of sea water-dissolved components, but comes out of the sea floor itself. You from contact with hot liquids in a spectacular part of the submarine springs with high speed.

As the industry of the past from chimneys spew out these "black smokers" of water with such a high mineral content, which then as the dark clouds in the otherwise clear water of the sea drag. This under-sea vents have been found in many places. However, this should only be a fraction of all the seabed of the existing vents. A group of scientists has discovered during an Expedition with the German research vessel "Sonne" is now in front of Island, a new, previously unknown territory with submarine hydrothermal sources. In contrast to black smokers, the water from these sources is clear. It contains not less mineral substances, as studies have shown.

Strange swaths of dark liquids

The most well-known submarine hydrothermal vents in the sea areas where two lithospheric plates slowly apart. These spreading zones, it is also the origin of places of the bottom ones volcanism are. There, the young sea floor is extremely porous, and sea water can seep into the Rock. If this encounters hot Magma that heats the initially cold sea water and quickly begins to ascend. Due to its high temperature, the water at the rise of minerals from the volcanic Rock is washed.

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The substances dissolve in the frequently to almost 400 degree Celsius hot water. As soon as the mineral-rich water in the vicinity of the seabed in contact with the about four degrees, the cold sea water comes from these minerals again. Here, the Smoke from the chimneys, reminiscent of the swaths appearance of dark liquids that gave the smokers their name. Because of the mineral deposits around the Outlet will be extinct hydrothermal vents more than possible sources of raw materials considered.

The first of these vents was discovered in 1977 off the Galapagos Islands along the East Pacific ridge. In the meantime, you are of almost all the world's oceans, including along the mid-Atlantic ridge, which runs in a zig-zag course from North to South through the entire Atlantic ocean. In the southern part of this spreading zone of the African and South American apart, remove the plate from each other, in the Northern drift of Europe and America.

Surprise in 650 meters water depth

Because the Island is located exactly on this ridge, it was expected already for a long time in order to find also in the sea area around this Northern volcanic island of hydrothermal sources. The search was, however, so far have been unsuccessful. This has changed, as the middle of July, crossed the German research vessel "Sonne" on one of Saskia Brix from the Senckenberg society for nature research-led Expedition along the Reykjanes ridge southwest of Iceland. This underwater mountain range is part of the spreading zone of the mid-Atlantic ridge and extends from the Island about 1500 kilometres to the southwest.

The remote-controlled unmanned submarine "Rov Kiel 6000", operated by the Kiel marine research centre, Geomar, looked at the bottom of the sea from up-close and sent pictures from the deep to the sun. On the on Board, transferred images, the scientists have to Brix discovered the first hydrothermal field in this sea area. To her Surprise, the from the in around 650 metres depth of water wells leaking water is not dark but clear. High, and irregular-shaped Chimneys reminiscent depositions of witnesses directly to these vents that produced source contains water, however, large amounts of dissolved minerals.

Updated Date: 31 July 2020, 15:20

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