Ancient black smokers

  • Exhibition Text

    • Just as they form today at the mid-ocean ridges, the sulfide chimneys that were to become the ores of the Kidd Creek mine, in Ontario, Canada, were forming on the seafloor 2.7 billion years ago. Rock samples from this ancient ore deposit contain the same iron, zinc, and copper-iron sulfide minerals, and have the same textures, as those found in modern black smokers.

      Show more
  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Minerals and Resources

      Keywords: Hydrothermal vents, Oceanography, Ocean bottom, Minerals, ore deposits

      Audience: General

In This Section

Black smoker

Black smoker

Modern black smokers, like ancient black smokers, contain complex mixtures of fine crystals of iron, copper, and zinc sulfides.

Banded ore

Banded ore

The ore body is composed mainly of zinc and copper-iron sulfide minerals.