Sea Glass
Video courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, Voyage to the Ridge 2022.
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During Dive 07 of the second Voyage to the Ridge 2022 expedition, we encountered pillow basalts on the seafloor. These pillows form when lava cools quickly under water. Weathering of pillow basalts such as these accounts for about 20% of the silica that forms crust in the region. This silica may also be important for organisms such as glass sponges who use minerals in the water column derived from the weathering of rock to build their silica-based skeletons. This highlights the cyclical connection between geology and biology in the deep ocean.