Sonar images hydrothermal vents in seafloor observatory



[1] Hydrothermal plumes venting from black smokers and diffuse flow discharging from the surrounding area of the seafloor are important as agents of transfer of heat, chemicals, and biological material from the crust into the ocean in quantitatively significant amounts [Elderfield and Schultz, 1996]. An unprecedented time series of three-dimensional (3-D) volume images of plumes rising tens of meters from black smoker vents and of concurrent 2-D maps of diffuse flow discharging from surrounding areas of the seafloor illuminates the turbulent behavior of hydrothermal fluid transfer into the ocean (seeFigure 1).