Black smoker hydrothermal vents

Black smoker hydrothermal vents

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This image is part of the feature Monsters from the Deep

Credit: DR KEN MACDONALD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Black smoker hydrothermal vents. These are geologically active seabed vents where magma (molten rock) near the surface heats water in the rock to extremely high temperatures, well over 100 degrees Celsius. This vent is on the bottom of the ocean, thousands of metres deep. The water is prevented from boiling by the immense pressure at this depth. The hot water contains large quantities of dissolved mineral salts. When the superheated water meets the very cold surrounding water, the minerals rapidly precipitate out, giving the hot water its characteristic smoky appearance. Photographed in 1979 on the East Pacific Rise. This was the first photograph of a black smoker.

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Keywords: active, black smoker, bottom, deep, duo, east pacific rise, first, geological, geology, heat, historic, hot, hydrothermal vent, marine, mineral, minerals, ocean, ocean floor, oceanography, pacific ocean, pair, photograph, physical geography, pyrite, pyrites, rock, rocks, sea, sea bed, seabed, sulfur, sulphur, superheated, two, underwater, underwater photography, vent, vents, volcanic, volcanology, water

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