Sunday, 22 May 2005 - 10:00 AM

This presentation is part of: Volcanoes of the Deep Sea

Volcanoes of the Deep Sea: An IMAX Film

Richard Lutz, Rutgers university, Piscataway, NJ

There will be several separate showings of a video version of the title film, which will be introduced by Dr. Lutz. He was Principal Investigator on the NSF project which funded the IMAX version of the film and also served as the film's Science Director.

Dr. Lutz is one of the foremost authorities on the ecology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Since the first biological expedition to these unique ecosystems in 1979, Dr. Lutz has spent countless hours on the bottom exploring thermal vents throughout the world's oceans in a variety of deep-diving submersibles.

In April 1991, Dr. Lutz joined a number of his geological colleagues on an oceanographic expedition, during which they used the deep-submergence vehicle Alvin to dive, for the first time, into the caldera of an actively erupting volcanic ridge along the East Pacific Rise at a depth of 2500 meters. Dr. Lutz has returned to the site at approximately annual intervals to document events that have occurred since the eruption.

The results of his ongoing studies at the volcanic eruption site have been featured in many scientific journals and magazines, including Science, Nature, American Scientist (cover story), and three separate issues of National Geographic. Observations made during the course of Dr. Lutz's ongoing studies in this unique "natural deep-sea laboratory" are dramatically altering our views of the rates at which many biological and geological processes are occurring on the face of the planet.

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