* Astronomy

Members Login
Post Info TOPIC: Northern hot springs


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
RE: Northern hydrothermal vents
Permalink  
 


Scientists often have a reputation for working in stuffy laboratories, cut off from the world around them. But this certainly isnt the case at the Centre for Geobiology, University of Bergen, Norway. The Centre has had two summer cruises thus far where researchers embark on a voyage to study conditions on the ocean floor. Using state-of-the-art technology including a remotely operated vehicle, the scientists have discovered a new field of deep sea vents, one of the most northerly in the world. Creatures living around these black smokers show just how tough life on Earth can be, and hint that organisms on other worlds may be able to thrive in very hostile environments.

Read more 

__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Loki's Castle
Permalink  
 


Well inside the Arctic Circle, scientists have found vents of water more than twice as the boiling point rising out of the seafloor.
The hydrothermal vents, called black smokers, were discovered farther north than others. One towers four stories high.

Read more

__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Arctic Hydrothermal Vents
Permalink  
 


Explorers to Use New Robotic Vehicles to Hunt for Life and Hydrothermal Vents on Arctic Seafloor

Scientists and engineers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have just completed a successful test of new robotic vehicles designed for use beneath the ice of the Arctic Ocean. The multidisciplinary research team will now use those vehicles to conduct the first search for life on the seafloor of the worlds most isolated ocean.
WHOI researchers have built two new autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and a new tethered, remote controlled sampling system specifically for the difficult challenges of operations in the Arctic ice. They hope to discover exotic seafloor life and submarine hot springs in a region of the ocean that has been mostly cut off from other ecosystems for at least 26 million years.
The 30-member research team will depart on July 1 from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, for a rare expedition to study the Gakkel Ridge, the extension of the mid-ocean ridge system which separates the North American tectonic plate from the Eurasian plate beneath the Arctic Ocean.

Read more

__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Ellesmere Island
Permalink  
 


Unusual sulphur springs on Ellesmere Island suggests how live may evolve on other planets
A scientific expedition to a remote glacier field in Canada's High Arctic may help researchers unlock the secrets about the beginning of life and provide insights for future exploration of our solar system.

A team assembled by the University of Calgary's Arctic Institute of North America plans to spend two weeks studying a sulphur-spewing spring on the surface of an ice field not far from the North Pole this summer, after it was discovered by Institute Executive Director Dr. Benoit Beauchamp during his travels in the area. Beauchamp, University of Calgary adjunct professor Dr. Steve Grasby from the Geological Survey of Canada, and two graduate students will conduct the first extensive study of the spring after initial tests showed the geological oddity is home to a unique form of bacteria that has adapted to thrive in a cold and sulphur-rich environment.

"We really want to try and understand the plumbing system for this spring and where all this sulphur is coming from. This is a very unusual feature on the earth's surface and it's an extreme ecosystem that could be a good model for how life first begins in a harsh environment" - Dr. Benoit Beauchamp.

The spring has also attracted the attention of the Canadian Space Agency and NASA, which are helping to fund the expedition, because it likely provides the best example on Earth for the conditions believed to exist on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. Ice-covered Europa is considered one of the best candidates for finding evidence of life on other planets within our solar system. Sending a probe to the planet is high on NASA's list of possible projects. Graduate student Damhnait Gleeson from the University Colorado, on a project sponsored by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will be taking part in the study to determine if it will be worthwhile testing spacecraft and remote-control rover equipment on the glacier in the future.

"These are exciting times for planetary exploration in Canada. With the development of the Canadian Analogue Research Network (CARN) by the CSA, there are more opportunities than ever for Canadian researchers to further our understanding of other planets by studying analogues sites on Earth. These sulphur springs in the Arctic may just put us one step closer to answering that age old question: are we alone in the Universe?" - Dr. Alain Berinstain, Director of Planetary Exploration and Space Astronomy at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Beauchamp discovered the spring in the mid-1990s when he noticed a yellow stain on the snow while passing over the Borup Fiord Pass in a helicopter. He eventually visited the site and noticed the strong smell of rotten eggs that indicated the presence of sulphur. Grasby then visited the in 1999 and 2001 and collected samples of the water and mineral deposits from the spring, which contained new forms of bacteria and an extremely rare mineral known as vaterite.
Sulphur-loving organisms have been found living in extremely hot water around geothermal vents deep in the ocean floor but are seldom observed living in cold environments.

Beauchamp, Grasby, Gleeson and University of Calgary graduate student Marie-Eve Caron leave for the glacier on June 21. From Ottawa, they will fly to Resolute, where they will be flown to the Eureka research station via Twin Otter airplane. The team will then reach the glacier by helicopter and set up a small camp near the base of the glacier where they will study the spring and acquire numerous water, mineral and rock samples.

Source University of Calgary (PDF)

__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
RE: Northern hot springs
Permalink  
 


The two vent fields are located at latitude 71 degrees north on Mohns Ridge, between Iceland and the island of Spitsbergen. Lying between 500 and 700 metres beneath the surface, they are shallow for vents.
The vents support a variety of life, including what appear to be vent tube worms. This would be a big find because vent tube worms are only known to exist in the Pacific.

__________________


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Permalink  
 

Hum,
It seems Enceladus is not alone in having a polar hotspot... :smile:

Researchers have found the Earth's most northernmost underwater hot springs, spouting out of the seabed in the otherwise chilly waters of the Norwegian Sea. It's a veritable oasis featuring tropical-like coral and unusual plant life.

The underwater hot springs were found at a depth of 600 meters on the so-called "Mohnsryggen" north of the Arctic island of Jan Mayen, where Norway maintains a weather station and military presence. Researchers made the discovery during an expedition this summer.

source

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.



Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard