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Re: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

        The energy source is chemical! The heat drives the hot and cool smokers
bringing the sulfur compounds up from solution from basalt below. As for
the similar communities around the natural gas and petroleum seeps in the
ocean, often below photosynthetic cdepth, the carbon isotope ratios in the
critters prove that their carbon and energy sources are the nydrocarbons,.
NOT photosynthesis. 
        Some authorities believe that the origin of life on earth might have
started in one of these two ways. 

Ray McAllister, Retired Prof. (Emeritus) of Ocean, mcallist@gate.net
Engineering, Dept of OE, Fla. Atlantic Univ., Boca 
Raton, FL 33064  (954) 426-0808

| From: Martin Jehle <martin.jehle@klinik.uni-regensburg.de>
| To: dinosaur@usc.edu
| Subject: Re: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
| Date: Wednesday, April 02, 1997 7:15 AM
| Jonathon Woolf wrote:
| > > These bacteria, tube worms etc. on the ocean bottom are powered by
heat from the earth ?
| > > Great, but please tell me, how exactly does this work ? 
| > 
| > The deep-sea vent ecosystems are a recent discovery, and biologists are
| > still figuring out the details about how they work.  The basics are
| > pretty clear, though.  Each such ecosystem forms around a volcanic
| > mineral-water spring in the ocean floor.  The springs eject
| > water at extremely high temperature.  Thermophilic bacteria take in
| > sulfur and other minerals, and use them to grow through a process
| > chemosynthesis -- chemical synthesis of food-energy.  Then those
| > bacteria become the base of the local food chain.    
| So the source of energy for these ecosystems is in fact chemical energy 
| stored in minerals like sulfur etc. which can be used for chemical 
| reactions, comparable to the chemical energy in coal which we 
| use ? And the heat is just driving the springs ? Or does the heat 
| itself contribute to the energy which the bacteria need ?
| Martin Jehle, Dipl.-Ing.(FH)
| martin.jehle@klinik.uni-regensburg.de
| Regensburg, Germany