New study – Underwater volcanoes heat the seas

Confirms what I’ve been saying all along!

Summary: Vast quantities of ocean water circulate through the seafloor, flowing through the volcanic rock of the upper oceanic crust.  A new study by scientists at UC Santa Cruz, published June 26 in Nature Communications, explains what drives this global process and how the flow is sustained.


Hydrothermal siphon’ drives water circulation through seafloor

By Tim Stephens.

About 25 percent of the heat that flows out of the Earth’s interior is transferred to the oceans through this process, according to Andrew Fisher, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz and coauthor of the study. Much of the fluid flow and heat transfer occurs through thousands of extinct underwater volcanoes (called seamounts) and other locations where porous volcanic rock is exposed at the seafloor.

Fisher led an international team of scientists that in the early 2000s discovered the first field site where this process could be tracked from fluid inflow to outflow, in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. In a 2003 paper published in Nature, Fisher and others reported that bottom seawater entered into one seamount, traveled horizontally through the crust, gaining heat and reacting with crustal rocks, then discharged into the ocean through another seamount more than 50 kilometers away.

‘Ever since we discovered a place where these processes occur, we have been trying to understand what drives the fluid flow, what it looks like, and what determines the flow direction,’ Fisher said.

For the new study, first author Dustin Winslow, a UCSC Ph.D. candidate who graduated this month, developed the first three-dimensional computer models showing how the process works. The models reveal a ‘hydrothermal siphon’ driven by heat loss from deep in the Earth and the flow of cold seawater down into the crust and of warmed water up out of the crust.

‘Dustin’s models provide the best, most realistic view of these systems to date, opening a window into a hidden realm of water, rock, and life,’ Fisher said.

The models show that water tends to enter the crust (‘recharge’) through seamounts where fluid flow is easiest due to favorable rock properties and larger seamount size. Water tends to discharge where fluid flow is more difficult due to less favorable rock properties or smaller seamount size. This finding is consistent with field observations suggesting that smaller seamounts are favored as sites of hydrothermal discharge.

‘This modeling result was surprising initially, and we had to run many simulations to convince ourselves that it made sense,’ Winslow said. ‘We also found that models set up to flow in the opposite direction would spontaneously flip so that discharge occurred through less transmissive seamounts. This seems to be fundamental to explaining how these systems are sustained.’

Winslow’s project was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation through a graduate fellowship and as part of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI). UCSC is a partner in C-DEBI, which is headquartered at the University of Southern California.

Studies by Andrew Fisher and colleagues have shown that seamounts provide conduits through which enormous quantities of water flow between the ocean and the rocks beneath the seafloor. (Illustration by Nicolle Rager)

Story Source:

University of California – Santa Cruz. “‘Hydrothermal siphon’ drives water circulation through seafloor: New study explains previous observations of ocean water flowing through the seafloor from one seamount to another.”
Thanks to Ronald Baker for this link


Journal Reference:

  1. Dustin M. Winslow, Andrew T. Fisher. Sustainability and dynamics of outcrop-to-outcrop hydrothermal circulation. Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 7567 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8567
“More validation for your theories,” says Ronald. “Thanks for your hard work getting this important information out to people. Many of us have been preparing for the long winter. I wish our leaders were required to read your books and web site. I believe the new ice age has already begun. “

48 thoughts on “New study – Underwater volcanoes heat the seas”

  1. When I first saw videos of smokers on the deep ocean floor, I wondered where all that water, that was pouring out of them, was coming from. Now we know. Great! More ammunition for your theory’s.

  2. Interesting and plausible but how did the “cold” seamounts form?
    Presumably as discharge vents–“hot” seamounts. Why does the flow change direction?

    • Cold seamounts are cold because they have moved away from the volcanically active mid-oceanic ridges during sea-floor spreading. It’s all part of plate tectonics (geology).

    • The planet’s core is heated by the disintegration of the many radioactives elements inside the magma.

    • Conservation of solar system angular momentum is the principal cause. Unfortunately physics is generally missing from AGW pseudo-science.

    • Gravitational tidal forces generating friction on the outer edge of the Earth solid inner core, the earth – moon system also has a BarryCentre, it is this BarryCentre which rotates with the Moon which is what creates the heat to maintain the molten core and plate tectonics. Otherwise, without the early planetary collision which created the Moon and increased the planets size, the Earth would be Mars sized, cold and no plate tectonics.

    • Best theory proposed in my book on core heating came from the man. Albert.
      Help me here Mr. Layman.
      Was shown that light from particles follow a certain path or trajectory bending toward the sun. Why? Note the term “black hole”.
      Was on the most part rejected due to man’s lack of understanding of gravity. How can the sun be void of mass and at the same time have a tremendous amount of gravity and heat signature?
      Was predicted that the earth has a black hole liken that of the sun’s, only on a smaller scale(ta-da, gravity). Gravity being what it is and at the same time man not understanding the most basic foundations of it, formed elements around the black hole of planet earth, elements of light based particles of what we call rock, dirt, etc..
      Several researchers now identify the theory as truth about the suns void of mass. The fuel being plasma, which coming to knowledge bonds the universe together not black holes.

      The question remains…. What is Gravity??
      Homer called it the abyss, other writings call it the bottomless pit, others a hollow earth with fire and brimstone where evil is imprisoned guarded by gate keepers. Ancient mans interpretation of a black hole with a finite conclusion.

      A physicist/theologian put it this way.
      If one were to drill a hole from N to S poles of earth and then jump into hole at either end would he come out at other side of the earth?
      The tremendous amount of gravity would hold you at equilibrium in the center mass of the earth. Hence the term bottomless pit as one would be trapped in a virtual vacuum of gravity that man has no true understanding of and most definite no control of.

      If it is so that core is of earth is void of mass and has an energy output limited to the inflow of plasma from the sun, one would see lakes of fire and boiling masses of molten elements popping and cracking around the circumference of the pit or black hole.

      Just my own thoughts here – when currents that feed the sun are pinched to a lower level then on a quid pro quo basis the earth receives less current from the sun to drive the catalyst here. Regardless, until proven otherwise will stay with the man who lit the fire of physics and did not trust man with his full thinking capability with due understanding on my part.

      Alas, thank you Robert for keeping my agitated thoughts in check. These ruffians do have a tendency to Ruffle My Feathers from time to time.
      Again, thank you sir.

    • The solar systems electromagnetic environment. The earths core is an electric furnace that is fueled by the solar and galactic magnetic fields. Just as the earth has thermoelectric heating and cooling of its atmosphere.

  3. This could interfere with the thermohaline circulation at depth slowing down the Gulf Stream during periods of increased volcanic activity such as during the mini ice ages.

  4. So, let me get this straight. You concur that heat is transferred to the sea by under water volcanoes, but that’s it.. Only water???
    They are VOLCANOES!!! Magma also comes out.
    If you change the structure of a container holding water, water will find a new level.
    How many cubic miles of magma need come out before sea levels rise??

  5. WOW!! What a month, scientist have discovered that the sun heats the Earth, and hot rocks make cold water hot! I’m totally shocked and amazed! What next?? Some truth I hope about the cooling taking place.

  6. This study is an excellent a vindication of your ideas, despite the scientific time-lag; rather like Co2 lagging behind the change in Earth’s temperature.
    All sorts of questions come to mind, is it a fairly constant flow, does the flow and temperature vary with the fluctuation of volcanism on the planet, when active would submarine volcanoes be in addition to this heated water and probably too soon in the research to know if this has any relatioship to the hotter water of El Niño or is this only due to the sun?

    • I think El Nino is more of an Atmospheric/Ocean surface phenomenon, that has virtually zero to do with this.

      • El Nino / El Nina cannot be caused by atmospheric heating and cooling, there isn’t nearly enough climate change (1 degree in 100 years) to heat a few million cubic miles of ocean a few degrees every few years, and “global warming” cannot explain the cooling of El Nina. Water is about 1,000 times denser than air at sea level, so it would take the heat transfer of 1,000 cubic miles of 61 degree air to heat 1 cubic mile of 60 degree water 1 degree.

        The only plausible explanation for large-scale ocean warming (and cooling) is changes in subsea thermal radiation.

        • You don’t need to heat a few million cubic miles of ocean to create an El Nino. You only need the right combination of, surface winds blowing in the right direction coupled with ocean currents moving in the right direction to pool together enough warmer water(talking surface to a few or tens of feet deep) into a relatively small area of the Pacific in order to create an El Nino.

          • On second thought, perhaps an El Nino pooling could amount to a couple million cubic miles(at most, but I doubt even that), a million miles is a long way!
            The earth’s circumference is only 24,901 miles. The oceans of Earth are some 321 cubic miles in volume, but a great portion of that water is deep and very cold.

  7. “This finding is consistent with field observations ”

    A computer model verified by observation that provides an alternate view of ocean heating NOT driven by fanciful CO2 driven global warming!

    All the CO2 alarmists wish they had similar model verification for their fanciful hypothesis – but they don’t !

  8. How do you prepare for a long winter that will outlast your lifespan and that of your children’s unless you have the backing of modern technology. Otherwise humans will be back to where they were befor the wheel was invented.

    • It appears from the various underwater cities in tropical waters around the world that our ancestors survived the last transition to a cold period with some civilization intact. It was the volatile transition into this warm period that drove them back to the caves.
      As for preparing, perhaps those who are not now in a place where they (or progeny) can survive the transition to cold and grow crops/fish/hunt after the transition, should plan to move soon.

  9. I’ve studied with the Orthodox rabbis a bit and found out something interesting. During the Flood the oceans were boiling hot. The reason why we still have creatures of the ocean still around is because a miracle occurred that kept the water around the Ark cool within a certain radius. Those sea creatures stayed within that radius lived.

    Considering how many volcanoes exist in the ocean it finally clicked with what I have learned from the rabbis and your website.

    • Surely, you and those Rabbis don’t believe the whole of the Earth was covered with water. Where, then, did all the water go. If there was a “Flood” incident, it had to be a localized event.

      • There isn’t enough water to cover the whole earth to 150 feet above the highest mountains. The flood had to be a local event.

        • How did the Andes form, the Alps?

          From seduction fractures in the earth’s crust.

          Was sea mollusk shells imbedded in rock atop both blown out by volcanoes and settled into the formation over time. One would think not.

          We will have our own Alps right here in Arkansas when this fault line buckles and decides to over-lap. And let me tell ya, there are already plenty of old rock imbedded shell and sea urchin fossils here as well.

          Was the earth void of super mountains before the great flood and fracturing of continents?
          If we were to flatten the mountains at present calculating the current depth of ocean waters an estimated 1 mile deep water world would exist.

          Guess there remains the possibility some hurricanes deposited the shells when the mountains were yet sediment lol.

          See ya

  10. So, if these under water syphons are common in the oceans, then variations in the way they behave over time could account for a lot of things such as warm spots, currents, El Ninos, La Ninas, ice ages……..

  11. What? The science isn’t settled? We humans have more to learn? We don’t know it all? Shocking I say.

  12. Gee whiz! There’s actually volcanic activity under the ocean that’s heating up the seas! How amazing! On second thought, it seems as though I’ve heard that before somewhere…

  13. The ivy league scientist’a are the pet dogs of stupidity. Why people waste money to attend these incompetent clowns. They couldn’t figure out at that thousands of active underwater volcanoes would heat the oceans.

    Harvard, MIT, Princeton and all the others must be institutions for the special ed toddlers.

  14. Now wait a minute. For how long have we known about the Black Smokers found in the deepest of the deeps? Hot waters coming out must have an intake somewhere. Likely a very diffuse intake network with a more direct output. The vacuum created by the smoker vent sucks waters from under the seafloor. Not going to be like a direct pipe from one end to the other.
    It seems ridiculous that it took so long for some group of scientists to formulate this model. And why a model anyway? The whole deal about Black Smokers seems pretty obvious to me.:
    The smokers are deeper(thus higher overlying pressure than the intakes) because the source of heat is going to be deep.
    This all happens in semi-porous basaltic seabed that has a magma chamber under or nearby to the location of the black smoker(s).

    • I’m not really sure why the term ‘Dark Energy’ is used, I thought that was a theory from Cosmology. But I did find some videos about the CDEBI project:

      about CDEBI

      science only version

      On the CDEBI site>about>our goals page,
      there is a reference to Thomas Gold:
      “In a provocative 1992 essay, Thomas Gold postulated the existence of a “deep, hot biosphere”, supported by geological energy sources. Whitman et al., [1998] expanded this concept, collating available data on aquatic, soil, and subseafloor microbes, and concluded that the majority of biomass on Earth may be harbored below the surface of the Earth. The ramifications of a massive buried biosphere of “intraterrestrial microbes” are significant, leading to paradigm shifts in our thinking in the biosciences and geosciences [Edwards et al. 2005, Jorgensen & D’Hondt 2006]. Owing to the vast size of the subseafloor reservoir in the global Earth system, most intraterrestrial microbes reside below the bottom of the OCEANS, in sediments and rock. The potential for the oceanic deep biosphere to influence global biogeochemical processes scales with the size of the subseafloor as a habitat.”

      Thomas Gold is the scientist/author of “The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels” in which he suggests that “oil and natural gas are produced by geology and chemistry of the hot deep layers below the Earth’s surface” -(New Scientist, August, 2001)

      From Publishers Weekly
      “When scientists discovered thermophiles?primitive microorganisms that live in deep seafloor vents and eat hydrocarbons (chemicals like gasoline)?experts assumed the mysterious bugs had little to tell us about ourselves or about the earth’s core. Cornell University Professor Emeritus Gold, however, who for 20 years directed the Cornell Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, here proposes the striking theory that “a full functioning… biosphere, feeding on hydrocarbons, exists deep within the earth, and that a primordial source of hydrocarbons lies even deeper.” Most scientists think the oil we drill for comes from decomposed prehistoric plants. Gold believes it has been there since the earth’s formation, that it supports its own ecosystem far underground and that life there preceded life on the earth’s surface. The “deep hot biosphere” hypothesis would explain the thermophiles, the minerals and the oil Swedish drillers found in 1990 under rock where no one expected them. The hot goo and massed gas far under our feet would also explain some mysterious historical earthquakes (notably the New Madrid, Mo., shocker of 1811), and it would tell puzzled geologists why so many oil reserves just happen to sit underneath coal fields. As later chapters explain, if Gold is right, the planet’s oil reserves are far larger than policymakers expect, and earthquake-prediction procedures require a shakeup; moreover, astronomers hoping for extraterrestrial contacts might want to stop seeking life on other planets and inquire about life in them.
      Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.”

      [Just an aside: When I took a basic Geology course in 1975 or so, the prevailing thought was that Crude Oil reserves were made from vast accumulations of dead Foraminifera that were buried in the seafloor.]

      So the C-DEBI mission could be the most important to come along in years, decades, or in the science history of man.

      • The problem is that extreme heat would destroy
        the hydrocarbons and reduce them to CO or CO2 and H2O.
        Crude forms at 120 degrees F and natural gas
        at 160 degrees F. Hydrocarbons and magma don’t mix.

        • What you say may be true for pressure at the surface, but things behave a bit differently at the tremendous pressures of these depths. Pressures that would not allow for gases(CO, CO2) to form. Even methane at severe depth is not a gas, but an ice-like methane hydrate.

    • ‘Smokers’ are the sources of sedimentary exhalative (‘sedex’) copper-lead-zinc-silver-gold deposits. Sedex deposits, related to volcanogenic massive sulphide (‘VMS’) deposits, form where deep circulating super-heated water discharge on the sea-bottom. I am at present investigating a sedex deposit formed ca. 1 200 million years ago in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

      The concept of submarine volcanism heating the oceans, and retarding the Earth’s progress towards a snowball is not new.

  15. I think Volcanic Activity has a lot to do with the “Blob” off the California, Oregon, Washington Coast.

    • Ken, the blob is mostly surface heat from a stuck jet stream resulting in long term high pressure, resulting n the blob, and the calif drought.

  16. new news in the proof that the cold water gets sucked IN to the vents as well as just magma and prob trapped water from further down venting.
    a huge belt of coloured dye would show it…if the exit wasnt so far away as the 50k one was:-)
    of course its ONLY warm air from the surface the heats deep ocean waters…
    ask the fools at any of the warmist scam institutions!

  17. Yes, Robert, local volcanic heat events in the ocean will heat the water around it. But if your theory is correct why, then, after 4.5 billion years of volcanic activity, much of which is in the oceans, have not those volcanoes warmed the oceans completely? I do believe that the deep ocean is rather cold, unless an underwater volcano is active nearby. But then, the warm sea water soon cools as it disperses and mixes with the much colder sea water around it.

    • From what I’ve read, the deep ocean waters can be below the freezing point of 32 degrees F. The reason it does not turn to ice is because of the enormous pressure at that depth.

  18. Considering the thermal density of magma, presumably basalt at depth, then using the equation:
    T/To = ½ + ½ erf [x / 2(kt)-½]
    where To = initial eruptive temperature
    and x = distance traveled (presumed effusive) …

    Well, I don’t know the math, but be it safe to assume that since rock is denser than water, it holds significantly more thermal capacity than the latter. So any magma that effuses out onto the oceanic floor will carry with it significantly more thermal (read: IR) effect on the surrounding water than would direct solar insolation or back radiation from CO2. As has been described on other websites, how quickly will the temperature of a given quantity of water rise by blowing a hair dryer on the surface? The principle is valid, and supports Robert’s theory.

    • “As has been described on other websites, how quickly will the temperature of a given quantity of water rise by blowing a hair dryer on the surface? ”

      @H.B. Schmidt- Do you have a link or two on this hairdryer idea?
      It sounds as though it’s a misleading analogy proposed by warmists for the atmospheric heating of the oceans. Just off the top of my head( I’m not a climate scientist, but have a good general understanding), I think two things are going to happen with the hairdryer blowing on a given quantity of water, while some heat from the hairdryer will warm a small amount of the surface(1), that same heat coupled with the breeze from the hairdryer will cause some amount of evaporation. Evaporation as we know, has a net cooling effect and will probably transfer more heat away from the given quantity of water(2), than the hairdryer will impart to said quantity of water.

  19. Right…
    And (unless I imagined it) with an increase in volcanic activity of about 500+% since the 1940’s and seemingly still going up, what’ll that be doing to the sea temperatures?

  20. I read somewhere that there’s likely a subterranean ocean or even oceans beneath the Earth’s outer crust, aqua incognita and that these sub oceans flow in and out of the known oceans, possibly transporting significant heat from magmatic chambers in the vicinity of the sub oceans.
    So I actually wonder whether our oceans might not be partly and permanently frozen without this central heating from the interior and including perhaps some of the landmass as well and thus forestalling an almost lifeless snowball Earth ?

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