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Mud volcanoes form when geologic pressure drives gas, super-salty brine, and liquefied mud out through vents in the seafloor. Mud builds up steep-sided cones to 20 or 30 meters high. Jason found this mud volcano at a depth of over 1000m. The visibility is poor because the bubbles of gas are driving up large clouds of fine sediment. Dissolving salt deposits generate a fluid that has salinity many times that of seawater. Here we see an outflow channel below the main crater of the mud volcano. The fluid in the channel appears to be buoyant enough to generate rolling clouds of fine sediments. The flanks of the mud volcano are devoid of life. The mudflows are too unstable to support chemosynthetic communities. Video courtesy of Ian MacDonald, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, NOAA-OE.

 

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