La Paz (dpa) – Researchers from Mexico and the United States have discovered new hydrothermal springs and previously unknown animal species in the Gulf of California.
Using a diving robot, the scientists took pictures of the seabed and blue iridescent worms, the Schmidt Institute of Oceanography announced.
Hydrothermal springs emit liquids up to 287 ° C. The researchers reported that while fluids in other areas are often dark and thus sources are called black smokers, they are transparent in the Gulf of California. They took samples to analyze the chemical composition of the liquid. They also want to know if the hydrothermal springs are connected to each other or if they feed independently of each other from individual cracks in the earth’s crust.
On an expedition with the research vessel “Falcor”, scientists discovered at least six species that may not have been known before, including polystyrene, stockworms, crustaceans and mollusks.
In the past three years, scientists have discovered nearly 20,000 square kilometers of the Gulf of California. This corresponds to about one-eighth of the total area. “Studying the relatively rapid rate at which the Gulf of California is forming increases our understanding of how continental margins are formed – the places where most people live today,” said Ronald Spells Madero of the Autonomous University of Baja California.
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