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Sea floor vent described as a huge bulls eye

20 August 2013

Bearing in mind some of the things blogged at Malaga Bay the following is interesting – see http://phys.org/print296117095.html (the same story is at Science News and Science Daily, and no doubt various other blogs). A huge ocean plume being emitted from a sea floor vent in the South Atlantic is emitting large quantities of iron and manganese, and other micronutrients. The plume from the vent is 1000km in length and is clearly anomalous – as no such vents had previously been found in that situation. The novelty is the iron – and iron as a constituent of the oceans has been big news amongst environmentalists in recent years. Is it disatrous in itself, the fact that iron is in the ocean in the first place, or is it disastrous that the amount of iron in the ocean is declining. All these doomsayings have troubled the heads of environmentalists – and yet, here we have a vent spewing the stuff out in bucket loads. It is described by one of the scientists responsible for the published paper, Mak Saito, as resembling a huge bulls eye. Its been there a long time but nobody has thrown a dart in that direction – until now.

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