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Tech & Science Deep-Sea Vents Might Solve Mystery Of Ancient Ocean Carbon

23:20  18 november  2019
23:20  18 november  2019 Source:   gizmodo.com.au

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A hydrothermal vent is a fissure on the seafloor from which geothermally heated water issues. Hydrothermal vents are commonly found near volcanically active places

Dr. Michael Vecchione, Deep Ocean Explorer. Deep below the ocean ’s surface is a mysterious world that takes Several field projects focused on deep ocean habitats—seamounts, hydrothermal vents , the A Smithsonian specimen helped identify a new family of deep sea squid with long spindly legs.

A black smoker (Photo: W.R. Normark, Dudley Foster, <a href= © Provided by Pedestrian TV Group Pty Ltd A black smoker (Photo: W.R. Normark, Dudley Foster, Wikimedia Commons)" out-link" src="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrothermal_vent#/media/File:BlackSmoker.jpg">Wikimedia Commons">

Scientists have found deep-sea graphite that might help solve a deep-sea carbonaceous mystery, according to a new study.

The deep ocean contains various kinds of carbon, including fresh carbon-based material from sources on the surface and old carbon whose source is unknown. Scientists have theorised different sources for that older carbon, including soot from combustion processes, kicked-up sediments, or maybe hydrothermal vents. The recent discovery of graphite at these vents make them a likely source for this mysterious old carbon.

A lion mummy may have been discovered at famed pyramid site

  A lion mummy may have been discovered at famed pyramid site Archaeologists in Egypt have found a large animal mummy that may contain the remains of a lion or lioness. Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said on Monday the mummy was excavated in Saqqara, a town south of Cairo that was a vast necropolis in antiquity and is home to the famed Step Pyramid.Archeologists frequently find mummified cats, but the recovery of a lion is rare. In 2004, the first lion skeleton was found, revealing the sacred status of the animal during ancient times. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.

While some carbon in the reservoir may cycle faster, older carbon cycles much slower. This is because older sources such as hydrothermal vents , methane Such changes might include, for example, deep - ocean temperature fluctuations affecting microbial activity, or a shifting surface ocean

Deep sea vents are home to extraordinarily diverse forms of life (Credit: Getty Images). They could be a more carbon -efficient source of metals than those found on land. Deposits around hydrothermal vents are just one of several sites of interest for deep - sea mining that may take off in the coming years.

Carbon dating, a method to determine the age of molecules based on how a radioactive carbon isotope decays, has found that much of the ocean’s dissolved carbon is older than expected based on how molecules circulate through the ocean. Researchers have proposed various sources to explain this old carbon, including molecules that are difficult to break down or soot and charcoal resulting from burning material on the surface flowing into the ocean through rivers.

But past research seems to rule out rivers delivering burned carbon—which leaves the 400°C (750°F) hydrothermal vents as one of the best candidates for the old carbon.

Back in 2017, scientists descended in the submersible Alvin to the East Pacific Rise 9° 50′ N vent field in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of Mexico. They took samples of the high-temperature hydrothermal vent fluid and analysed them back on the deck of the research vessel Atlantis. Lo and behold, the sample contained graphite emitted from the vents, according to the paper published in Nature Communications.

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Deep - sea vents are hot springs on the seafloor, where mineral-rich water nourishes lush colonies of microbes and deep - sea animals. In the three decades since scientists first encountered vents in the Pacific, around 250 have been discovered worldwide. Most have been found on a chain of undersea

While some carbon in the reservoir may cycle faster, older carbon cycles much slower. This is because older sources such as hydrothermal vents , methane Such changes might include, for example, deep - ocean temperature fluctuations affecting microbial activity, or a shifting surface ocean

This alone means that the vents are a worthy candidate as the source of the carbon. But there’s a lot work left to do. It’s still unclear how the carbon forms in these vents, though the researchers proposed a mechanism based on the vents moving the material around under high temperature and pressures. Nailing the vents as the source of this ancient carbon would also require knowing just how much carbon they (and the other vents) produce.

I’m just thrilled that people still get to experience rides in Alvin. “What’s great about Alvin is that you can be down there with the vent, get direct samples, and see everything in 3D,” Estes told Gizmodo. “I felt so focused and exhilarated and excited to be there.”

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