The unique findings were discovered in Norwegian waters along a 1500 km long volcanic mountain range, which stretches from Jan Mayen to the Fram Strait between Svalbard and Greenland.
– Prior to this white spots on the map, we knew nothing about what was there. But using technological tools we have been able to map the ocean floor. The last volcano was found a few weeks ago and is just 20 meters below sea level, – says Rolf Birger Pedersen, professor at the Centre for Geobiology (UiB).
By discovering Loki’s Castle, as the area is called, now researchers from UiB can observe unknown volcanic underwater world toogether with hundreds of undersea volcanoes and various heat sources.
There is not only a totally unique wildlife, but also rich metal deposits. Each field has an estimated value of 1-3 billion NOK. How much economic value they may have in the future is too early to say. The environmental and legal aspects are important issues.
Iron, zinc and copper are just some of the metal deposits that exist, but the unique microorganisms will also be an important step in bioprospecting. That searching for valuable biological and active components from marine organism, which can be used for research and development of new medicines.