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Quakes under Pacific floor reveal unexpected circulatory system
Date:1/9/2008

-some evolutionary biologists believe they originated life on earthand how or whether they now make their way from one isolated vent system to another. The findings could add to an understanding of seafloor currents along which they may move, and of the nutrient flows that feed them. The work also has large-scale implications for how heat and chemicals are cycled to the seafloor and overlying waters, said Tolstoy. On a practical level, many large ore bodies now on land are thought to have been formed by such systems.

The work is part of a larger long-term interdisciplinary look at the East Pacific Rise, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Scientists from Lamont and other institutions are still retrieving and analyzing data from earlier cruises. In 2006, a volcanic eruption buried some of their instruments; most of the instruments were lost, but those that survived provided new information about how the eruptions work. This summer, researchers hope to return aboard the new Lamont-operated vessel Marcus G. Langseth to generate unprecedented 3D images of the ridges interior.


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Contact: Kevin Krajick
kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu
212-854-9729
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert  

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