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Sampling Black Smokers

Sampling Black Smokers

April 10, 2016

WHOI researchers inside the human-occupied vehicle (HOV) Alvin use the submersible’s robotic manipulator arms to collect samples of the hot, acidic, metal-rich fluids discharging from a hydrothermal vent more than two miles below the surface. This “black smoker” chimney sits on top of the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) active mound—one of the largest mineral deposits known on the seafloor, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The many shrimp visible in this image are part of a complex vent ecosystem whose organisms can thrive in conditions we would consider toxic.(Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)

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