Variations in oxygen level in relation to temperature in the hydrothermal vents of the Juan de Fuca Ridge

N. Pentyliuk \ Oceans First, Issue 1, 2014, pgs. 51-58.

Download PDF

Abstract:

Le Chatelier’s principle predicts that the heating of water decreases oxygen solubility, and the cooling of water causes an increase in oxygen solubility. This paper determined whether reject or not reject that principle at the hydrothermal vents. By recording and analysing both temperature and oxygen levels over time at the hydrothermal vents of the Main Endeavour Field, a correlation between oxygen level variation and temperature change was observed, where increase in one is correlated with a decrease in the other. This data and the conclusions of other research papers support the correlation between oxygen level variation and temperature. These conclusions highlight the concern that the chemical and physical gradients that the hydrothermal vent communities rely on could be severely affected by an increase in ocean temperature – an increase that may be due to anthropogenic activity.