Story: Marine minerals

Black smoker hydrothermal chimney (1st of 2)

Black smoker hydrothermal chimney

This cross-section of a black smoker chimney clearly shows its internal structure. The outermost part of the chimney is composed of silica, the grey portions mostly of zinc, and the yellowish interior mainly of copper. The chimney is made up of various minerals that have precipitated out of hot hydrothermal fluid as it mixed with sea water, slowly growing layer upon layer, outwards and upwards.

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GNS Science
Photograph by Cornel de Ronde

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How to cite this page:

Ian Wright, 'Marine minerals - Nodules, crusts and vents', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 June 2022)

Story by Ian Wright, published 12 Jun 2006