An aquatic ecosystem contains biotic communities and abiotic environmental factors which form self regulating and self sustaining units. Abiotic environmental factors include temperature, salinity and current flow.

A type of very small microorganism that is very different from bacteria and may be similar to the earliest forms of life.

Black igneous rock that solidifies from magma. Basalt contains mostly magnesium and iron silicates.

Beehive Chimney
Small sulfide deposits with a cone shaped or bulbous morphology that are produced by more diffuse flow, lower venting temperatures and turbulent mixing of vent fluids in seawater.

Black Smoker
A hydrothermal hot spring that is hot enough to be supersaturated with metals, resulting in an effluent that consists of black sulfides.

A process in which bacteria get energy for growth from inorganic chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide, iron, or ammonia.

Areas of multiple sulfide structures that is greater than 5 m of each other. Cluster groups are separated by greater than 40 m distance of non-significant hydrothermal activity.

Cockscomb Array
Cluster of sulfide chimneys of varying height

Near vertical sheets of rock that solidified after intrusion into the rocks above.

Grow on the steep sides of large vent structures. Overhanging ledge of sulfide-sulfate-silicate that are heavily colonized.

Gas Hydrates
Crystalline solids that consist of a gas molecule, usually methane trapped inside a lattice of the gas molecule. Gas hydrates usually form naturally under conditions of high pressure and relatively low temperature and commonly occur in deep sea sediments along continental margins.

Heat Content Anomaly
A measure of the total heat emitted at each hydrothermal vent field.

Hydrogen Sulfide
An inorganic compound made from of one sulfur atom and two hydrogen atoms. Hydrogen sulfide is toxic to most living organisms.

Having to do with hot water. Hydrothermal vents are openings in the seafloor from which flows hot water mixed with chemicals.

An organism that thrives in extremely hot environments. Many hyperthermophiles are also able to withstand other environmental extremes such as high acidity or radiation levels.

Long straight features such as large fault scarps

North East Pacific Time-Series Undersea Networked Experiment

Ocean Bottom Seismometer

Pillow Basalt
Lava extruded under water quenches and solidifies faster on its edges than in its center. The result is the formation of tubes and lobate tunnels within the lava flows.

Remotely Operated Platform for Ocean Science

Remote Operated Vehicle (ex. ROPOS)

An instrument that records seismic waves as they pass beneath the sensor; through the use of an electromagnet, in which electric vibration is converted into current.

The feeder network of black and white smokers is eventually penetrated by cold water, causing precipitation of metals in the feeder fracture system under a massive sulfide deposit. These mineralized veins are called stockworks.

Ocean 411

School OF Oceanography University of Washington

Where We Went

Information about places we are going

placeholderNEPTUNE Canada
Canadian NEPTUNE cabled observatory


placeholderODP 889
ODP 889 Survey area



placeholderBarkely Canyon
Barkely Canyon Node Survey area



placeholderEndeavour Segment
Information about the Endeavor Segment