Black smoker vent

Black smoker vent

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This image is part of the feature Extremophiles

Credit: B. MURTON/SOUTHAMPTON OCEANOGRAPHY CENTRE/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Black smoker vent. View from the deep-submergence vehicle ALVIN of black "smoke" being emitted by the Saracen's Head hydrothermal vent on the ocean floor. Known as a "black smoker", Saracen's Head pours out a sulphurous mineral-rich fluid from its mound or chimney. The volcanic fluid bubbles up due to geothermal energy in the Earth's crust, at a temperature of 360 degrees Celsius. Deep sea vents provide an unusual habitat to some primitive forms of extremophile bacteria and deep sea crabs (at lower centre). Saracen's Head vent is located at the Broken Spur Vent Field in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 3100 metres below sea level.

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Keywords: alvin, black smoker, bottom, deep sea vent, hydrothermal, hydrothermal vent, mid-atlantic ridge, ocean floor, photo, saracen's head, sea bed, seabed, seabed vent, vent, vents

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