tubeworms and mussels on top a hydrate mound

Tubeworms and mussels on top of a hydrate mound. The yellowish methane hydrate provides a source of methane for the mussels living on top of them. A little further from the hydrate, we see lots of tubeworms growing. They may be connected to the hydrate too, since the microbes in the sediment that turn seawater sulfate into sulfide need methane for energy. Image courtesy of Gulf of Mexico 2002, NOAA/OER.

Related Links

Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico: Mission Plan

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery