Life in Extreme Environments

David Reeder, Northfield Mount Hermon School,
Karin Block, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Vicki Ferrini, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Breea Govenar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Laishona Vitelli, Columbia Teachers College
Carla McAuliffe, Center for Science Teaching and Learning at TERC,, contributor
Betsy Youngman,, contributor
Rita Freuder,, contributor

Published: March 2011. Last Updated: July 2011.


combination geomap app In this chapter, you will investigate the topography, biology, and geochemistry of an underwater rift zone, interpreting the observations and patterns that you discover. You will use GeoMapApp, a free visualization tool that provides access to high resolution topographic data of Earth's surface both on land and in its ocean basins. Produce topographic profiles of the ocean bottom and investigate bathymetry data to explore the structure of a spreading center. Next, read about and observe photographs of the various organisms living in and around hydrothermal vents fields. Then, learn to import your own images and data into GeoMapApp. Lastly, import a prepared dataset of images and observations from the East Pacific Rise, testing hypotheses about the conditions that affect life in extreme environments including vent locations, water temperature, water chemistry, and biodiversity.

This chapter is part of the Earth Exploration Toolbook. Each chapter provides teachers and/or students with direct practice for using scientific tools to analyze Earth science data. Students should begin on the Case Study page.

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