hydrothermal vents and airbourne pollutants

Posted in the Oceanography Forum

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1 - 7 of 7 Comments Last updated Jun 2, 2012
Robbie

Glasgow, UK

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#1
May 29, 2012
 
dear friends, can anyone provide a reference which demonstrates the path that airbourne pollutants take after combining with sea-salt aerosols from ocean spray. My understanding is that these airbourne pollutants eventually reach the ocean floor where they are 'filtered', through hydrothermal vents. I really appreciate your taking the time - kind regards Robbie.
Robbie

Glasgow, UK

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#2
May 31, 2012
 
what with you guys, are you oceanographers? three days later and nothing but the centre of a doughnut, perhaps id better try somewhere else.
Prof GLH

Stoke-on-trent, UK

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#3
May 31, 2012
 
I am a qualified atmospheric scientists and also a Professor in geology including ocean-floor geology.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that, whatever you exactly mean by airborne 'pollutants', no airborne 'pollutant' of the specific types that combine with sea-salt aerosols from ocean spray and which eventually reach the ocean floor are ever 'filtered' through hydrothermal vents in any significant quantity compared to were most of it goes for such a type of 'pollutant' would consist of heavier particles than mere gas particles and such particles that reach the sea floor would generally just settle on the bottom and come part of the sediment that can eventually change into sedimentary rock.
robbie

Glasgow, UK

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#4
Jun 1, 2012
 
Perhaps I should have been more explicit. What I mean by airborne pollutants is those elements which remain in suspension in the atmosphere because water droplets which form around them are too small to fall as rain. It is my understanding that Sea-salt aerosols seed oceanic clouds by attracting these small droplets and form larger ones, large enough for them to fall as rain into the oceans. After a considerable time, they will reach the ocean floor. My question was not in what degree these elements are 'filtered', in comparison to what percentage turn into sediment, but rather, what happens to them when subjected to the high temperatures that one finds in hydrothermal vents. It is also apparent from what I have read, according to my present understanding that a kind of osmosis does take place although to what extent is still a matter of conjecture. Thanks you for taking the time - kind regards Robbie, Glasgow U.K.
Prof GLH

Stoke-on-trent, UK

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#5
Jun 2, 2012
 
Osmosis is the net movement of solvent molecules through a partially permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, as to tend to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides and would have no relevance in this case because no membranes are involved here.

As far as I am aware, no research has ever been done on the effects of heat on suspended matter that gets drawn into and heated in the vents and I cannot imagine why there would be such research because that would be of no special interest so I don't think there is anyone in the world that can answer you question.
Robbie

Glasgow, UK

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#6
Jun 2, 2012
 
I am perfectly aware of what osmosis is, but thanks for your definition and for the record, I stated a 'kind', of osmosis, for want of a better word for the process remains unclear to me, please consider the following,
Chemical analysis of vent waters demonstrated that the circulation of water through the ocean crust decreased magnesium levels and increased manganese concentrations in ocean water.
http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/vent/revie...
hydrothermal vents, especially formation of the mineral chlorite within the cracks and fissures of the vents, which removes Mg2+(magnesium ion).
http://oceanplasma.org/documents/chemistry.ht...
clearly a 'type', of filtering is taking place. No research, hmmm.
In your erudite opinion dear professor and in view of the following,
n contrast to the approximately 2 C ambient water temperature at these depths,
water emerges from these vents at temperatures ranging from 60 C up to as
high as 464 C.[2][3] Due to the high hydrostatic pressure at these depths,
water may exist in either its liquid form or as a supercritical fluid at such
temperatures. At a pressure of 218 atmospheres, the critical point of (pure) water is
375 C. At a depth of 3,000 meters, the hydrostatic pressure of sea water is more
than 300 atmospheres (as salt water is denser than fresh water). At this depth and
pressure, seawater becomes supercritical at a temperature of 407 C (see image).
However the increase in salinity at this depth pushes the water closer to its critical
point. Thus, water emerging from the hottest parts of some hydrothermal vents
can be a supercritical fluid, possessing physical properties between those of a gas
and those of a liquid.[2][3] Besides being superheated, the water is also
extremely acidic, often having a pH value as low as 2.8 approximately that of
vinegar.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrothermal_ven...
what is likely to happen to pollutants that were once in suspension and now find themselves under extreme heat and pressure in a hydrothermal vent and suddenly cooled as they exist the vents? Can I speculate that a process of vitrification will take place - regards Robbie.
Robbie

Glasgow, UK

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#7
Jun 2, 2012
 
Hi I apologise for the presentation above,I redo the text here and make it easier to read than ancient Greek :)

I am perfectly aware of what osmosis is, but thanks for your definition and for the record, I stated a 'kind', of osmosis, for want of a better word for the process remains unclear to me, please consider the following,

Chemical analysis of vent waters demonstrated that the circulation of water through the ocean crust decreased magnesium levels and increased manganese concentrations in ocean water.

http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/vent/revie ...

hydrothermal vents, especially formation of the mineral chlorite within the cracks and fissures of the vents, which removes Mg2+(magnesium ion).
http://oceanplasma.org/documents/chemistry.ht ...
clearly a 'type', of filtering is taking place. No research, hmmm.

In your erudite opinion dear professor and in view of the following,

in contrast to the approximately 2 C ambient water temperature at these depths,
water emerges from these vents at temperatures ranging from 60 C up to as
high as 464 C.[2][3] Due to the high hydrostatic pressure at these depths,
water may exist in either its liquid form or as a supercritical fluid at such
temperatures. At a pressure of 218 atmospheres, the critical point of (pure) water is
375 C. At a depth of 3,000 meters, the hydrostatic pressure of sea water is more
than 300 atmospheres (as salt water is denser than fresh water). At this depth and
pressure, seawater becomes supercritical at a temperature of 407 C (see image).
However the increase in salinity at this depth pushes the water closer to its critical
point. Thus, water emerging from the hottest parts of some hydrothermal vents
can be a supercritical fluid, possessing physical properties between those of a gas
and those of a liquid.[2][3] Besides being superheated, the water is also
extremely acidic, often having a pH value as low as 2.8 approximately that of
vinegar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrothermal_ven ...

what is likely to happen to pollutants that were once in suspension and now find themselves under extreme heat and pressure in a hydrothermal vent and suddenly cooled as they exist the vents? Can I speculate that a process of vitrification will take place - regards Robbie.

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