Image of the Day

18 / 365

Snowblower vent

Seafloor Snowblower

Scientists diving in the submersible Alvin in 1991 found themselves in something that looked like a snowstorm on the bottom of the sea. They had arrived soon after a seafloor volcanic eruption in which hydrothermal vents spewed huge volumes of white bacterial matter into the ocean at 9°50'N on the East Pacific Rise at a depth of 2,500 meters (8,250 feet). Rachel Haymon (UC Santa Barbara) and Dan Fornari (WHOI) were chief scientists on the expedition that made the first direct observation of these so-called "snowblower" vents and offered initial clues to a "deep biosphere" with potentially large populations of microorganisms living within the ocean crust at mid-ocean ridges.
(Photo by R. Haymon, D. Fornari, and the Alvin Group, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Image and Visual Licensing

Text, images, graphics and other material contained on this website are subject to copyright. For more information or to license material, please contact the Director of Digital Assets, or (508) 289-2647.

Explore Visual WHOI

Search multimedia database

License our Visuals