Submarine Ring of Fire 2014 - Ironman: Background Information

Mission Plan

Mission Plan

The “Submarine Ring of Fire 2014 – Ironman” expedition will have two parts. The first part is focused on iron-oxidizing bacteria at hydrothermal vents and the second part is focused on understanding how the emission of carbon dioxide from active submarine volcanoes acidifies the local marine environment.

Seamounts of the Mariana Arc

Seamounts of the Mariana Arc

Seamounts are underwater mountains, and sometimes they are also active volcanoes. The Mariana Arc is a chain of many seamounts (60) and a few islands (9), which are all active volcanoes.

Macrobiology

Macrobiology

In few other places on Earth is animal nutrition as inextricably linked to microbes as they are at hydrothermal vents. Microbes have the ability to capture the chemical energy potential in hydrothermal vent fluids, thus growing without the need for sunlight. Vent fauna have evolved to take advantage of this abundant food source.

Microbiology

Microbiology

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are dynamic and extremely productive biological ecosystems supported by chemosynthetic microbial primary production. In the absence of photosynthesis, these microorganisms derive energy via the oxidation of reduced chemicals emitted in hydrothermal fluids.

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