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|Follow FeMO Researchers Diving with JASON2 on Loihi Seamount to Study Fe-Oxidizing Microbes|
An ongoing research expedition to Loihi Seamount uses remotely operated vehicle Jason II aboard the Research Vessel Kilo Moana to study iron-oxidizing microbes. Loihi is the youngest and still submerged active volcano in the Hawaiian island chain and will ultimately grow to become the next Mauna Loa or Kilauea. Eighteen scientists and a high school teacher are visiting this geologically very dynamic environment of pit craters and hydrothermal vents, diving to water depths ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 m. There, they study how microbial activity adjusts to extreme environmental conditions. At Loihi these microbes use energy from "rusting" basalt on the seafloor, without using any daylight, which is the main energy source for most of life on Earth.
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EarthRef.org Newsletter : Issue 06 - 2007