filter findings

The GalAPAGoS Plume team has been collecting Niskin bottles of water and filtering out the particles. Normal bottom seawater has a low density of particles, which can be seen by inspecting the filter shown at bottom right. "Black smoker" hydrothermal plumes emitted from high temperature seafloor hot springs contain many soot-colored mineral particles. The black color of the top row of filters shown above demonstrates that the plume team has successfully sampled a black smoker plume. At bottom left is a filter containing a particle load that is intermediate between black smokers and seawater. This "diffuse flow" plume is characteristic of seafloor vents with temperatures, flow rates, and particle abundances that are lower than those of black smoker vents. Most vent animals prefer to inhabit diffuse flow vents, where food is plentiful but temperatures are not unbearable. Image courtesy of UCSB, Univ. S. Carolina, NOAA, WHOI.

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