ABSTRACT:

Discovery of deep sea hydrothermal vents is one of the most important achievements in the underwater scientific history of last century. The study and exploration of hydrothermal vents are very significant worldwide. Sampling hydrothermal fluid of high purity is an important way to ensure the study of hydrothermal vent successfully. A novel sampler of hydrothermal fluid is proposed and discussed in the paper. A new instrument is constructed of inert titanium, which is gas-tight to 70 Mpa and can be used to sample fluids with temperature up to 400°C. Sampling hydrothermal fluid of high purity means that the temperature and pressure of fluid sampled by the sampler is the same as in the vent area. Maintaining high pressure can be realized by pressure compensator. The structure of double cylinders is designed for the sampler to insulate the heat transfer from inside of the sampler to the sea water, while its interlayer is evacuated to be filled with insulating materials. Taking the dimension of sampler into consideration, a finite element analysis is used for optimizing its dimension. The simulation and experiments show that the novel sampler can be used to collect samples from the extreme-pressure vents environments.

INTRODUCTION

Since hydrothermal vents were found in 1979, the study on this field rapidly became a significant highlight in the world. The hydrothermal fluids consist of mineral resources and microorganisms which attract many researchers from different fields because of their potential values for geology and life etc (Chen, Yang, GU, and Ye, 2002). Sampling study is an effective way to know the hydrothermal fluids' physical and chemical characters. Many samplers were developed for collecting hydrothermal fluids, but the most extreme environments of hydrothermal vent systems post considerable technical challenges for designing them.

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