Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 20 Issue 01

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Volume 20, No. 1
Pages 26 - 29


A Biology Laboratory on the Seafloor

By Nadine Le Bris  
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Although occupied submersibles have played an essential role in the discovery and study of hydrothermal ecosystems at depths ranging from 1500–3500 m, operational constraints at great depths have meant that the wide chemical and thermal diversity of the hydrothermal environments have long remained poorly defined. In the last decade, use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to substantially extend dive time and development of a new set of dedicated instruments have greatly expanded our capacity to characterize seafloor hydrothermal habitats at the interface between hydrothermal fluid and seawater. In particular, major breakthroughs in the field of in situ chemical sensing and high-pressure experimentation have led to a much better understanding of the adaptation of invertebrate species to their extreme environment.


Le Bris, N. 2007. A biology laboratory on the seafloor. Oceanography 20(1):26–29, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.77.

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