Tectonic Hot Spots: Deep Ocean Exploration

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A handful of scientist predicted that there were some “hot spots” in the ocean floor where tectonic plates met. These “hot spots” where in the very bottom of the earth’s crust. Every time these huge tectonic plates would shift, magma would spew out. However no one had ever seen these hot spots before 1977. So in 1975 French and American scientist submarine dived into the Mid-Atlantic ridge to find these “hot spot”. Unfortunately none were found. Two years later French and American scientist sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This time they used the Alvin, a twenty-five foot long submarine specifically designed for deep ocean exploration. The expedition was led by Dr. Robert Ballard. They dove down 2,500 meters into the galapagos rift. There they found hydrothermal vents for the first time in recorded human history. John Corliss, a scientist on the expedition, Wrote: “Shimmering water streams up past giant tube worms, never seen by man. A crab scuttles over lava encrusted with limpets”. A hydrothermal vent is…show more content…
When the water shots out of the vent it is milky white with minerals. Black smokers are other hydrothermal vents that are often hotter than 350 degress celsius. These hydrothermal vent are called black smokers because they spew out water mixed with black sulfides. These vent look like chimney from a cabin in the middle of a blizzard, though they can grow as high as 60 meters. Some of the organism near these cracks are giant shellfish, such as giant mussels, which have a yellow shell and live of the bacteria they filter out of the sea water. Giant clams have white shells that can be about a foot across. A natural predator of the giant mussels are the white crabs that also eat tubeworm. Tubeworms are white stalks with red plumes on top filled with blood they live off energy produced by bacteria in their plumes, they can grow up to eight feet
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