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A seamless system for the collection and cultivation of extremophiles from deep-ocean hydrothermal vents

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5 Author(s)
Malahoff, A. ; Dept. of Oceanogr., Hawaii Univ., Honolulu, HI, USA ; Gregory, T. ; Bossuyt, A. ; Donachie, S.
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Pele's Pit is a 300-m-deep pit crater whose summit rises to a depth of 1000 m on the Loihi submarine volcano 34 km south of the island of Hawaii. Hydrothermal vents with water temperatures up to 198°C have been observed at the basal edge of the pit. We fabricated a "seamless" system comprising submersible-mounted samplers, a helium-activated sample transfer system, and a series of 1-l Teflon-lined stainless-steel bioreactors that maintain ambient temperature and pressure in hydrothermal vent fluids collected from hydrothermal vents in the pit crater. The bioreactors can sustain pressures to 150 atm. and temperatures over 165°C. The system was deployed during October 2001 Pisces V submersible operations on Pele's Pit during which the maximum vent water temperature measured was 90°C.

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 4 )