Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Discover Liquid Carbon Dioxide 'Champagne' Bubbles At Hydrothermal Vent

Date:
January 5, 2005
Source:
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
What first appeared to be effervescent bubbles, like those in champagne, rising from a hydrothermal vent area in the northern Mariana Arc of the Pacific Ocean turned out to be liquid carbon dioxide. This is only the second location where the phenomenon has been identified. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its partner institutions made the discovery during an April 2004 expedition.

White chimneys at Champagne vent site, NW Eifuku volcano. The chimneys are ~20 cm (8 in) across and ~50 cm (20 in) high, venting fluids at 103ºC (217ºF). Notice the bubbles in the upper left portion of the image.
Credit: Photo courtesy of NOAA

What first appeared to be effervescent bubbles, like those in champagne, rising from a hydrothermal vent area in the northern Mariana Arc of the Pacific Ocean turned out to be liquid carbon dioxide. This is only the second location where the phenomenon has been identified. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its partner institutions made the discovery during an April 2004 expedition. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The findings and analysis of that expedition were presented today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

“Out of the hundreds and hundreds of known hydrothermal areas, it was an exciting discovery to find another location with liquid carbon dioxide,” said John Lupton, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. The only other reported area is in the Okinawa Trough in the Pacific Ocean.

The finding of liquid carbon dioxide will help scientists as they study the effects of carbon dioxide rich waters on organisms living in those waters. A study this summer reported on laboratory experiments where the shells of calcium-carbonate creatures dissolved in carbon dioxide rich waters.

“In the Mariana Trench, we found a natural laboratory where the effects of carbon dioxide on marine organisms can be studied,” said Steve Hammond, acting director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration. “Discoveries such as this help NOAA improve its understanding of ecosystems, which is one of its four mission goals.”

The expedition used the remotely-operated vehicle ROPOS. Scientists could see milky gas-rich fluid coming out of a couple of the small chimneys at a site near the summit of Northwest Eifuku, a submarine volcano in the northern Mariana Arc.

Lupton noted that there were two fluids coming up from the vent sites: a hot vent fluid measuring 217-degrees Fahrenheit coming from the chimneys or smokers, and the cooler liquid droplets coming from other parts of the vent field.

Samples were collected for further analysis, although the scientific team was fairly confident that the fluid was predominately carbon dioxide.

“The droplets were sticky and they didn’t join together to make larger bubbles,” Lupton recalled. “Although we were pretty sure it was liquid carbon dioxide, we wanted to analyze the samples to make sure.”

That analysis determined that the cold droplets were composed of about 90 percent carbon dioxide, and that the amount of carbon dioxide in the hot vent fluid liquid was a surprising 2.3 moles of carbon dioxide per kilogram of water, or about 60 liters of gaseous carbon dioxide per kilogram of water.

“This was an order of magnitude higher than any carbon dioxide values previously reported,” Lupton said.

Lupton noted that there are plans by scientific teams in the U.S., Germany, and Japan to revisit the site in 2005 and 2006 to conduct more research.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through research to better understand atmospheric and climate variability and to manage wisely our nation's coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

Read about the expedition at: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/04fire/logs/april10/april10.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. "Scientists Discover Liquid Carbon Dioxide 'Champagne' Bubbles At Hydrothermal Vent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104114942.htm>.
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. (2005, January 5). Scientists Discover Liquid Carbon Dioxide 'Champagne' Bubbles At Hydrothermal Vent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104114942.htm
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. "Scientists Discover Liquid Carbon Dioxide 'Champagne' Bubbles At Hydrothermal Vent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104114942.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) — The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — For months California has suffered from a historic drought. The lack of water is worrying for farmers and ranchers, but for gold diggers it’s a stroke of good fortune. With water levels low, normally inaccessible areas are exposed. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — With only three weeks until Minnesota's fishing opener, many are wondering if the ice will be gone. Some of the Northland lakes are still covered by up to three feet of ice, causing concern that just like last year, the lakes won't be ready. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — With Pacific ocean water already showing signs of warming, the NOAA says there's about a 66 percent chance the event will begin before November. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins