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Black smoker vent

Black smoker vent

E310/0012

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Credit

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

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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