Journey 300 miles off the Washington-Oregon coast and dive nearly a mile deep into the ocean as scientists and 20 students use underwater robots to explore, map and sample methane ice deposits, an underwater volcano and seafloor hot springs spewing water up to 570 degrees F.
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On the marine microbial stage, there appears to be a vast group of understudies only too ready to step in when
Hydrocarbons — molecules critical to life — are being generated by the simple interaction of seawater with the rocks under the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.
With clever engineering and being in the right spot, under the right satellite, UW oceanographers working with Computing & Communications and the ResearchChannel became the first team in the world to broadcast high-definition video from the seafloor to selected sites around the world Sept.
The hydrothermal vents were miles from where anyone could have imagined.
Black smoker hydrothermal vent systems may have the fire power, but the staying power of seafloor hydrothermal vent systems like the bizarre Lost City vent field — discovered just two and a half years ago — is one reason they may have been incubators of some of Earth’s earliest life, say UW scientists and their co-authors in a recent issue of Science.
A new hydrothermal vent field, which scientists have dubbed “The Lost City,” was discovered Dec. 4 on an undersea mountain in the Atlantic Ocean.