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The Chimney Finn

The Chimney Finn

Exhibition Text

The water flowing through this chimney was 302 degrees Centigrade. As this superheated water mixed with the cold ocean water, a dense black cloud of precipitating minerals formed. After the chimney was collected, the stump grew nearly 3 meters in three weeks, owing to the large amount of hot water flowing through it. The yellow, metallic mineral lining the channel inside the chimney is chalcopyrite, a copper-iron sulfide. The small black crystals are the zinc-iron sulfide mineral wurtzite, and the white mineral is the calcium sulfate anhydrite. The black walls of the chimneys are made of a mixture of iron sulfide and oxide minerals and silica.

AMNH collection

For Educators

Topic: Earth Science

Subtopic: Oceans

Keywords: Hydrothermal vents, Oceanography, Ocean bottom, Minerals, Juan de Fuca Ridge

Audience: General