How sulfide chimneys form

  • Exhibition Text

    • Tiny particles of metal sulfide and oxide minerals, resembling black “smoke,” billow from the hot-water vents. The particles begin to build a delicate honeycomb structure. As the hot water continues to flow, a chimney-like structure with organized channelways starts to develop. As the chimneys grow, their interiors become insulated from the cold seawater, allowing zones of high-temperature minerals to form along the channelways.

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  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Oceans

      Keywords: Sulfides, Hydrothermal vents, Oceanography, Ocean bottom, Oxide minerals, Mid-ocean ridges

      Audience: General