This is a major discovery for researchers studying ocean water, because iron is a crucial element for ocean life.
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According to researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a massive plume of iron and other micronutrients has been discovered in the South Atlantic Ocean. The plume is more the 1,000 km long surging from hydrothermal vents. The discovery brings previous approximations of iron supply into question, and may dispute researchers’ presumptions about iron sources in the world’s oceans.
“This study and other studies like it are going to force the scientific community to reevaluate how much iron is really being contributed by hydrothermal vents and to increase those estimates, and that has implications for not only iron geochemistry but a number of other disciplines as well,” said lead author Mak Saito, a Woods Hole Institution researcher.