vents diagram

The hot waters emanating from hydrothermal vents are less dense then seawater and rise up above seafloor volcanoes into the ocean above, forming a plume. As the hot waters rise, they pull in surrounding water, becoming diluted and expanded. Within ten minutes or so the water has risen anywhere from 100 to 250 meters or more above the volcano and has pulled in almost 10,000 times its volume in surrounding seawater, spreading the hydrothermal waters into a large cloud or plume, left to drift with the current like smoke in the wind. Original image courtesy of Gary Massoth.

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