Results tagged “Hydrothermal Vents”

By mimicking rocky seafloor chimneys in the lab, scientists have produced new evidence that these features could have provided the right ingredients to kick-start life.

Geothermal manifestations at Earth's surface can be mapped and characterized by a variety of well-established exploration methods. However, mapping hydrothermal vents in aquatic environments is more challenging as conventional methods can no longer be applied.

Researchers at Stanford University have found an aquatic highway that releases nutrients from within the Earth and ferries them up to surface waters off the coast of Antarctica. There the nutrients stimulate explosive growth of microscopic ocean algae.

There are two dominant and contrasting classes of origin of life scenarios: those predicting that life emerged in submarine hydrothermal systems, where chemical disequilibrium can provide an energy source for nascent life; and those predicting that life emerged within subaerial environments, where UV catalysis of reactions may occur to form the building blocks of life.

More than a mile beneath the ocean's surface, as dark clouds of mineral-rich water billow from seafloor hot springs called hydrothermal vents, unseen armies of viruses and bacteria wage war.

Deep-sea hydrothermal plumes--waters nearly two miles down in the ocean--are home to processes that effect life across the planet. However, high pressure and water temperatures that exceed 300 degrees Celsius have made research on the plumes very difficult.

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