Structure of a hydrothermal vent | Hydrothermal vents : Introduction & Ecosystem

Hydrothermal vents are holes that form in areas of seamounts and inject heat from mantle wedge. Most of them are located along continental plate boundaries. There is a core in the middle of the earth. At divide into two parts call inner core and outer core. The inner core is made up of iron and nickel. It is about 1,220 km thick and unlikely the outer core; the inner core is mostly solid. The outer core is about 2,400 km thick and made up of iron and nickel. The outer core is lies between the inner core and the mantle of the earth. The mantle is made off of silicate rocks that rich in magnesium and iron. The mantle also divides into 2 layers call mantle and upper mantle. There is a semi-solid, moveable layer call Asthenosphere between the upper mantle and the mantle. Asthenosphere has no strength. The lithosphere is located above the asthenosphere. The lithosphere is made up of the upper mantle and crust. Crush is 0-100 m thick, the stony layer that divided into two different types. They are oceanic lithosphere and continental lithosphere. Those hydrothermal vents are located on the oceanic lithosphere. The internal heat is formed in the core of the earth. Heat is absorbed by silicate rocks and they form into the magmatic fluid. They go upwards through the mantle, asthenosphere, and the upper mantle. The oxygenated, cold sea-water is coming through the fissures that located on the oceanic crust around the hydrothermal vent. This cold water clashes magmatic fluid, absorb heat and release as hot steam through the hydrothermal vents. Those hydrothermal vents are located between tectonic plates that float above the asthenosphere.

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👉🏻FOLLOW your @marine_encyclopedia for more. Deep hydrothermal vents are like hot springs on the sea floor where mineral-rich, hot water flows into the otherwise cold, deep sea. Complete ecosystems sprout up around these vents, and numerous organisms are supported by the energy given off at these rare sites. Deep hydrothermal vents are located in areas with high tectonic activity, including the edges of tectonic plates, undersea mountain ranges and seamounts, and mid-ocean ridges. The water escaping from deep hydrothermal vents may be clear-ish and have low concentrations of minerals or it may be white or black and be characterized by high concentrations of minerals. These so-called white or black smokers look like chimneys, constantly blowing ‘smoke’ up from the sea floor. Minerals escaping from these vents usually include hydrogen sulfide or some other sulfur compound. The deep-sea environment where these vents occur is completely dark, and photosynthesis is impossible. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants and algae form the bottom of the food web, wherever there is sunlight. In the deep sea, most of the food must sink from the sunlit sea surface; however, as it sinks, it is eaten by all sorts of organisms. Very little food makes it to the deep sea floor. At deep hydrothermal vents, though, specialized bacteria can convert the sulfur compounds and heat into food and energy. As these bacteria multiply, they form thick mats on which animals can graze. In some cases, they form symbiotic relationships with animals, (e.g., giant tube worms) and live in the animals’ tissues, creating energy in return for receiving protection from predators. These specialized bacteria form the bottom of the deep hydrothermal vent food web, and many animals rely on their presence for survival, including deep-sea mussels, giant tube worms, yeti crabs, and many other invertebrates and fishes. A similar deep-sea ecosystem is called the cold seep, where mineral- or methane-rich water seeps from the seafloor. Cold seeps do not require high tectonic activity and may be located more sporadically across the deep sea. . . . Credits: @oceana

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In 1977 Richard Von Herzen and Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute has conducted an expedition calls Galapagos Hydrothermal Expedition and they confirmed their existence. But many geologists and marine scientists had been actively searching for hydrothermal vents since the early 1960s. The latest deep-diving technologies, new chemical, biological and mapping sensors improved the searching of hydrothermal vents and allowed scientists greater access to the seafloor. Until today, about 250 of hydrothermal vents have been discovered using robots, human-occupied, remotely-operated, and autonomous vehicles. These discoveries continue until today and the future. There are two types of hydrothermal vents. One of them is releasing black smoke and others are releasing white smoke. Those hydrothermal vents that release black smoke are the hottest of all and it releases mainly sulfides and iron. White smokers are less in heat and the smoke contains barium, calcium, and silicon. Usually, hydrothermal vents are about 1,000 – 2,000 m deep, and the deepest known one was discovered in 2013 in the Caribbean and the depth was 5,000m.  hydrothermal vents are divided into two parts call the lower part and upper part. The lower part is located in the mantle and the upper part is located in the lithosphere. The hole that releases smoke is called the chimney. All of the chimneys are located between tectonic plates.

There are two types of primary producers according to their energy source. They are phototrophs and chemotrophs. Phototrophs use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates. Chemotrophs use energy by the oxidation of inorganic molecules. In hydrothermal vents’ ecosystems, the primary producers are chemosynthetic bacteria. The hydrothermal vent microbial community includes all unicellular organisms that live and reproduce in a chemically distinct area around hydrothermal vents. These include organisms in the microbial mat, free-floating cells, or bacteria in an endosymbiotic relationship with animals. Chemosynthesis bacteria derive nutrients and energy from the geological activity at hydrothermal vents to fix carbon into organic forms. Chemosynthesis is one way in which organisms can produce their own food by converting chemicals into useable nutrients. They use energy from inorganic chemical compounds to make food. This is similar to photosynthesis but not use light. Bacteria that live in the deep ocean, near hydrothermal vents, also produce food through chemosynthesis.

Hydrogen sulfide Chemosynthesis: 12H2S + 6CO2 → C6H12O6 + 6H2O + 12S

Energetically favorable reactions available to chemolithotropic: Methanotrophy: CH4 + 2O2 → CO2 + 2H2O

Methanogenesis: H2 + 1/4CO2 → 1/4CH4 + 1/2H2O

Sulfur reduction: H2 + 1/4SO42- + 1/2H+ → 1/4H2S + H2O

Sulfur oxidation: H2S + 2O2 → SO42- + 2H+

Sulfur oxidation: S + H2O + 31/5O2 + → SO42- + 2H+

Sulfur oxidation: S2O3 + 10OH+ O2 + 4H+ → 2SO42- + 7H2O

Sulfur oxidation: S2O3+ 6OH + 4/5NO3 + 4/5H+ → 2SO42- + 17/5H2O + 2/5N2

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Deep-Sea Facts During COVID-19 Lockdown! Day 10: Deep-sea animals have incredible adaptations. This is the scaly-foot snail or sea pangolin and it is remarkable! It has literal armour made of iron sulphide. It has the largest heart (relative to body size) in the entire animal kingdom – 4% of body volume vs the human heart which is only 1.3%. And rather than finding food to eat, it just makes it. With the help of special microbes within its body, it uses chemicals from the surrounding water, in a similar way to which plants are able to use sunlight as energy. It was only discovered in 2001 and is currently known from just 4 tiny hydrothermal-vent sites several kilometres deep in the Indian Ocean. Photo by @squamiferum • • #deepocean #deepsea #snail #scalyfootsnail #hydrothermalvent #IndianOcean #explore #OneOceanOnePlanet #biodiversity #nature #marine #sea #science #STEM #ocean #deepseabiologist #marinescience #scicomm #research #exploration #divein #coronavirus #covid19 #stewardship #2020 #WomeninSTEM #marinebiologist #DivasDailyDeepSeaFacts

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There is a dark environment near the thermal vents. Because light cannot reach that much deep in the ocean. Hence, phototrophs cannot produce food and chemotrophs are the main primary producers of the ecosystem of hydrothermal vents. There are a lot of food webs in the hydrothermal vent ecosystem. These are the major levels of an ecosystem, primary producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, and tertiary consumers. In a land ecosystem, most of the time the primary producers are photosynthetic plants or algae. But, in hydrothermal ecosystems, chemotroph bacteria are the main primary producers. Because there is no sun-light to occur photosynthesis. Primary consumers are mostly herbivores. They only eat autotrophs such as chemotrophs and phototrophs. In hydrothermal vent ecosystems, the most common primary consumers are The giant tube worm (Riftia pachyptila), The large white clam (Calyptogena magnifica), an undescribed mytilid musel and the Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana). Secondary consumers are organisms that gain energy by eating primary consumers. Always secondary consumers are carnivores or omnivores. There are two types of main secondary consumers; fish, and crabs. They are Zoarcid fish(Zoarcidae spp.), Blind crabs(Munidopsis polymorpha), Galatheid crab, Vent ratfish(Hydrolagus colliei), and Vent shrimps (Family Alvinocarididae). Tertiary consumers feed on secondary consumers. Most of the time they are carnivores and sometimes they also be omnivores. They show predatory behaviors. Unlike primary consumers, tertiary consumers gain only a few percentages of energy from food. Vent Ratfish(Hydrolagus colliei), Oysters(Family Ostreidae), Larger crabs, Eels, Moray Eels(Family Muraenidae), Starfish(Family Asteroidea), Vent Octopus(Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis), and Eelpout fish(Lota lota) are a few examples for tertiary consumers in hydrothermal vent ecosystems.

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Je vous présente l'un des grands prédateurs des sources hydrothermales : le crabe bythograea. Ces crabes blancs sont les créatures les plus féroces de leur écosystème. Rassemblés en gigantesques groupes autour des cheminées hydrothermales, ils dévorent aussi bien des bactéries que des vers, des crevettes ou des mollusques. Parfois, ils se mangent même entre eux ! ⁣ ⁣ *****⁣ Starring one of the greatest predators from the deep ocean: the bythograea crab! These white crabs are the most ferocious creatures in their ecosystem. Gathered in huge groups around hydrothermal vents, they devour bacteria as well as worms, shrimps, and mollusks. Sometimes they even eat each other! ⁣ ⁣ © Ifremer⁣ ⁣ #DeepOcean #crab #crabe #grandsfonds #SourceHydrothermale #HydrothermalVent #science #Ifremer #biology #deepsea

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By learning about hydrothermal vents we can teach about the evolution of life on earth and the possibility of life elsewhere in the solar system and the universe. Some metabolic processes that occur in hydrothermal vents could also have commercial uses one day.  And also the compounds found from hydrothermal vents can be valuable in the future. Hydrothermal vents also connected to the beginning of earth and the beginning of life. So, even at present hydrothermal vents provide a lot of pieces of evidence to the scientists to carry their researches on.

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Panarea is the second smallest of the eight Aeolian Islands, north of Sicily, southern Italy. It is part of the Panarea volcanic group that is made up of dome-fields that are the subaerial culminations of a largely dissected volcanic complex mostly located below sea level. In 2013 I attended a scientific diving expedition there, where we learned how to do research under water. What a great adventure! Mapping the seafloor, profiling littoral geology, locating and marking objects, and sampling rocks and soil. My favorite though was the drilling of short (1 meter) sediment cores. Doing it on land is already challenging and hard work, but underwater it is totally exhausting procedure that takes forever. So you better have enough gas bottles and diving buddies! There are different methods to drill a sediment core underwater: 1. The hammering method, where the divers hammer the metal tube into the sediment. It feels like swinging the hammer in slow motion, because of the high water resistance. So it took us a couple of hours to hammer a sediment core of 1 meter into the soil. 2. Drilling a hand sediment core by using the angular momentum. The tube is slowly screwed into the ground with the help of handles. This works very well in soft sediments. #scientificdiving #paleoclimatology #underwatergeology #hydrothermalvent #scienceisfun #expedition

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