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Like just about everything in Earth Science, this strange feature is related to plate tectonics. Really, it’s just a hot geyser, like at Yellowstone National Park, only under 10,000 feet of seawater. These features, called hydrothermal vents, are found where lava eruptions hit seawater in regions where new ocean crust is being created. The hot water coming from the vent explodes from the release of pressure. Once in the cold seawater, sulfide minerals precipitate out, creating the "smoke" in the photo. As the sulfide minerals fall, they create the chimney-like structure in the photo.

Many hydrothermal vents are home to unusual life forms.


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Plate Tectonics-- Difference between crust and lithosphere
Structure of the Earth
Plate Tectonics -- Evidence of plate movement
Plate Tectonics -- Geological Features of Divergent Plate Boundaries
Plate Tectonics-- Geological features of Convergent Plate Boundaries
Plates Moving Due to Convection in Mantle
Hawaiian Islands Formation
Compositional and Mechanical Layers of the Earth
Seismic Waves
Why S-Waves Only Travel in Solids
Refraction of Seismic Waves
The Mohorovicic Seismic Discontinuity
How we know about the Earth's core