Gold rush to the deep seafloor

Hydrothermal vents have given us many things, including new autotrophic paradigms, new species, a new appreciation for seafloor spreading centers, and a best-ever IMAX movie . But the fact that seafloor massive sulfides can precipitate a king’s ransom in gold, silver, copper, and zinc was an unexpected boost to the cauldron-like charisma of hydrothermal vent systems. Big-time scientific weeklies Science and Nature finally caught up to DSN’s meticulous coverage of vent mining just this week, reporting on the new gold rush to the deep seafloor.