HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Underwater volcanic vents. Artwork showing black and white smokers on the seabed above a volcanic fissure. Black smokers are geologically active seabed vents where magma (molten rock) near the surface heats water in the rock to extremely high temperatures. The hot water dissolves a large quantity of mineral salts. When the superheated water meets the cold surrounding water, the minerals rapidly precipitate out, giving the hot water its characteristic smoky appearance. The minerals form multicoloured crusts around the vent, causing them to grow into tall chimneys over time. White smokers emit lighter-hued minerals.
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