Shortcut Navigation:
How Do Hydrothermal Systems Work?

How hydrothermal systems work

How hydrothermal systems work

  • Exhibition Text

    • At mid-ocean ridges, cold seawater is drawn down, heated, and forced to circulate through an extensive system of cracks above bodies of molten rock. The hot water dissolves some of the minerals in the rock, and carries them up to the ocean floor. When the mineral-laden water, whose temperature may exceed 400 degrees Centigrade, vents into the cold ocean, some of the dissolved minerals immediately separate out to form particles of metal sulfides, which accumulate around the vents.

      Show more
  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Oceans

      Keywords: Hydrothermal vents, Mid-ocean ridges, Minerals, Ocean bottom, Ocean circulation, Oceanography

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Maps and Directions