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hydrothermal vent

Definition Source References

A fissure on the floor of a sea out of which flows water that has been heated by underlying magma. The water can be as hot as 400°C (752°F) and usually contains dissolved minerals that precipitate out of it upon contact with the colder seawater, building a stack of minerals, or chimney. Hydrothermal vents form an ecosystem for microbes and animals, such as tube worms, giant clams, and blind shrimp, that can with stand the hostile environment. The hottest hydrothermal vents are called black smokers because they spew iron and sulfide which combine to form iron mono sulfide, a black compound.

Asia-Pacific assessment