Hydrothermal Vents


The Hot Spot Below Yellowstone Park

The Hot Spot Below Yellowstone Park

WHOI scientist Rob Sohn brought an arsenal of deep-sea technology normally used to explore the seafloor to the bottom of Yellowstone Lake, where a team of researchers investigated the subsurface geothermal activity hidden from view in the national park.

Read More

Gar Secrist

Gar Secrist

Gar Secrist says that he spent his summer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) working on “sandwiches.” His weren’t ordered…

Read More

Summer Under Arctic Ice

Summer Under Arctic Ice

This month, an international team of scientists and engineers are exploring the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean while cruising aboard…

Read More

The Remarkable Diversity of Seafloor Vents

The Remarkable Diversity of Seafloor Vents

Since 1982, I had spent most of my waking hours examining pieces of seafloor vent deposits that had been recovered during a routine dredging operation along the Juan de Fuca Ridge off the Pacific Northwest coast.

Read More

ALISS in Wonderland

ALISS in Wonderland

In 1985, Cindy Van Dover, then a graduate student in biology in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program, discovered a novel light-sensing organ on a unique species of shrimp that lives at high-temperature, black smoker chimneys on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. If this photoreceptor were indeed some sort of primitive “eye,” the question instantly arose: At depths of some 3,600 meters, where sunlight cannot penetrate, what are these shrimp looking at? The search for a source of light in deep-sea hydrothermal environments began.

Read More

How to Build a Black Smoker Chimney

How to Build a Black Smoker Chimney

Diving along the mid-ocean ridge at 21°N on the East Pacific Rise, scientists within the deep submersible Alvin peered through their tiny portholes two decades ago to see an astonishing sight: Clouds of billowing black “smoke” rising rapidly from the tops of tall rocky “chimneys.”

Read More

The Cauldron Beneath the Seafloor

The Cauldron Beneath the Seafloor

Just over 20 years ago, scientists exploring the mid-ocean ridge system first made the spectacular discovery of black smokers—hydrothermal chimneys made of metal sulfide minerals that vigorously discharge hot, dark, particulate-laden fluids into the ocean.

Read More