Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Oregon State University and Hydrothermal Vents

Jack Dymond, Jack Corliss, and John Edmond in front of the DSRV Alvin on the 1977 discovery expedition.

2017 marked the 40th anniversary of one of OSU's biggest discoveries (certainly the biggest oceanographic discovery made by CEOAS scientists). In 1977 OSU Oceanography faculty member Jack Corliss led a manned submersible (Alvin) dive team that spotted the first ever hydrothermal vent on the ocean floor. The discovery spawned new fields of study in biology, microbiology, marine chemistry, marine geology, planetary science, and the study of the origin of life on Earth and astrobiology.

To celebrate this discovery CEOAS held two events that were free and open to the public. Jack Corliss visited OSU from his home in Budapest to participate.

Title of the event "OSU and Hydrothermal Vents: 40th Anniversary of the Discovery that Launched 1000 Ships"

Thursday, March 2, 2017, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Three short lectures:

  1. Jack Corliss and Robert Collier gave the history of the discovery and the new fields of study that it spawned. Watch the video of Bob and Jack.
  2. Bill Chadwick described new discoveries of hydrothermal vents in the western Pacific Ocean. Here is Bill's presentation.
  3. Andrew Thurber explained how life at vents influences global climate. See Andrew's talk.

Friday, March 3, 2017, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
An "Open Forum" for discussion with Jack Corliss and others on the 1977 Alvin dive program on the history of the discovery.
Forum Part 1 video, Forum Part 2 video

Jack Corliss Jack Corliss
1977 ALVIN Dive
Expedition Leader
Robert Collier Robert Collier
1977 expedition member
Andrew Thurber Andrew Thurber
Ecology of low-oxygen
William Chadwick William Chadwick
Geology of submarine
volcanic eruptions