Thirty Years of Volcanic Vents and Smokers Discoveries – A presentation by Dr. Steve Hammond
NEWPORT, Ore. – Explore thirty years of research on hydrothermal vents in the deep sea and the fascinating organisms that thrive on them. The story begins in 1977, when the first hydrothermal vent along with an associated community of blind crabs, giant clams and mouthless tubeworms – ultimately found to be powered by chemicals released from the earth rather than the power of the sun – were discovered in the deep ocean where life was never before imagined.
Dr. Steve Hammond, scientist and recently retired Program Director for NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research will these and other exciting discoveries in ocean exploration in a presentation for the public on Wednesday, May 21, 6pm in the Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center auditorium.
Discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents and associated biological communities on the Galápagos Rift in 1977 revolutionized the oceanographic and earth sciences. Very shortly after the spectacular and completely unexpected discoveries of hydrothermal venting and its associated Rose Garden chemosynthetic animal community on the Galápagos Rift, NOAA installed a high-resolution, multibeam sonar system on the NOAA Ship SURVEYOR. It was the first of its kind on a US civilian research vessel. A team of ocean scientists from NOAA, Oregon State University and the University of Washington began to use the new sonar to carefuly map the seafloor spreading centers off the N. California, Oregon, and Washington coasts and to explore for vents. What followed was three decades of spectacular discoveries and research that remain at the forefront of efforts to understand how deep volcanic and hydrothermal activity impact the physical, chemical, and biological environments of the global ocean.
Dr. Hammond’s lecture begins 6pm, Wednesday, May 21st, at the Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center auditorium. It is free and open to the public. For more information call 541-867-0234.