The lava flows in the photo above are young, because they show little accumulation of sediment. However, these lava flows appear to be coated with fine brown mud. This brown sediment is particulate iron oxide minerals that have fallen out of the plume of a nearby black smoker. Searching near this location led to discovery of the smokers. Image courtesy of UCSB, Univ. S. Carolina, NOAA, WHOI.

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