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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Photograph by Cornel de Ronde
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