[2015] Ana Martinez (8th Period): Hydrothermal Vent

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by agille1
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[2015] Ana Martinez (8th Period): Hydrothermal Vent

Hydrothermal Vent

Hydrothermal vents occur at both diverging and converging plate boundaries. Heat is released as magma rises and cracks the ocean floor and overlying sediments. Seawater drains into the fractures and becomes superheated, dissolving minerals and concentrating sulfur and other compounds. When the water is blocked in its downward path it spews forth as a jet of water with temperatures approaching 750° F.

Chemosynthetic bacteria obtain energy from the chemical bonds of hydrogen sulfide.There are shrimps that also host sulfur-dependent bacteria. Top carnivores at vents include the eel-like zoarchid fish, which apparently feeds on snails, limpets, and amphipods.These animals are all restricted to vent habitats.Scavengers (gastropods, decapods, and copepods)

The water of so-called “black smokers” is rich in sulfides; that of “white smokers” contains compounds of barium, calcium, and silicon. The temperature of the plume of white smokers is usually lower than that of black smokers.


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