Posts Tagged ‘interesting facts about hydrothermal vents’

Black Smoker Facts

by on Friday, February 7, 2014 14:51 under Interesting Facts.

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  • Black smokers are natural chimneys on the sea-bed. They billow black fumes of hot gases and water.
  • Black smokers are technically known as hydrothermal vents. They are volcanic features.
  • Black smokers form along mid-ocean ridges where the tectonic plates are moving apart.
  • Black smokers begin when seawater seeps through cracks in the sea floor. The water is heated by volcanic magma, and it dissolves minerals from the rock.
  • Once the water is superheated, it spews from the vents in scalding, mineral-rich black plumes.
  • The plume cools rapidly in the cold sea, leaving behind thick deposits of sulphur, iron, zinc and copper in tall, chimney-like vents.
  • The tallest vents are 50 m high.
  • Water jetting from black smokers can reach 662°C.
  • Smokers are home to a community of organisms that thrive in the scalding waters and toxic chemicals. The organisms include giant clams and tube worms.
  • Over 2500 m below the surface black smokers spew out hot water, black with mineral-rich mud. Around them grow tubeworms, some as long as cars.
  • Each drop of sea water in the world circulates through a smoker every ten million years.