Lava from the erupting volcano Kilauea in Hawaii last year simulated massive phytoplankton blooms in the ocean. The researchers explained how the molten rock simulates an algae explosion on the ocean's surface. ( Pixabay )
The eruption of Kilauea volcano last year did not simply bring destruction to Hawaii's homes and lands. The findings of a new study also revealed that volcano lava also simulates massive phytoplankton blooms in the ocean.
Phytoplankton bloom after eruption of Kilauea volcano
Three days after Kilauea eruption, scientists notice massive phytoplankton bloom in NASA satellite images such as green chlorophyll shawl, green piggyback energy in the ocean.
In a new study published in the journal Science, Sam Wilson of the University of Hawaii (UH) in Manoa and his colleagues reported that green plume has the perfect combination of ingredients that can help algae thrive: high iron nitrates , phosphate and salicylic acid.
Nitrogen is a plant fertilizer and large amounts of this nutrient cause an algae to blossom, which spans hundreds of miles in the Pacific.
How Lava from Kilauea Volcano Simulates Phytoplankton Blooms
Lava does not contain significant amounts of o f nitrogen, but researchers have found that a high concentration of nitrates was brought to the surface ocean when heat from large amounts of molten rock melted , warms nutrient-rich deep water.
This caused the nutrient-rich deep waters to rise to the surface where they brought nitrogen and other particles to support algae growth.
"We hypothesize that high nitrate is caused by lush jets of deep water rich in nutrients created by the significant contribution of lava to the ocean," researchers wrote in their study.
Researchers also say that since there is so much lava in the water, dissolved iron and phosphate are combined into particles, making them inaccessible to germs.
"Usually, every time an algae grows and divides, it is eaten immediately by another plankton," the postdoctoral researcher explained. at the University of Sou th California Dornsiff Nicholas Hoko added that imbalance is the only way o get this bloom.