Talk:Hydrothermal vent

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Cold seeps[edit]

You can take these off the to-do list because they are not hydrothermal in nature. Cold seeps are formational brines which are leaking ut into the ocean. Rolinator 08:35, 28 October 2006 (UTC)


"Submarine hydrothermal vents (black smokers) were discovered along the East Pacific Rise in 1977." This statement as it stands is incorrect. Hydrothermal vents were discovered at the Galápagos Rift, which is separate from the East Pacific Rise, in 1977 and there were no black smokers there at the time, only diffuse flow vents.

Actually, I think this is what they're referring to when they talk about the hydrothermal vents. They only discovered life around them in 1977. They'd known about this kind of stuff for a while before that anyway. (talk) 06:56, 24 March 2010 (UTC) Well, actually according to the website Alvin had only just been conceived in the 1930's and had begun operation in 1964.

Hydrothermal vents on Mars?[edit]

As Mars doesn't have any oceans, this strikes me as an odd speculation. Perhaps it was meant to be worded "Hydrothermal vents have been speculated to have existed on Mars"? What is the source for this speculation?

-- 13:50, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Search me. All I can think of is under the icecaps --Lancensis 20:35, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
There's a few sites that have references to such:
&c., although they are expected to be dormant. — RJH (talk) 18:10, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, its great speculation but there won't be any there now I'd think, what with hydrothermal needing not only thermal energy (mars doesn't have any acxtive volcanoes?) but water, which Mars appears to lack. Certainly not enough for an ocean. Rolinator 07:27, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
To quote "Mars Explorers to Benefit from Australian Research" (I couldn't find the article using RJHall's URI):
"Walter said that although there might not be any active hydrothermal vents on Mars, ancient or dormant ones could have fossil evidence of life." — Preceding unsigned comment added by SvartMan (talkcontribs) 15:53, 1 March 2012 (UTC)


I had to take to the groundwater section. There is no such thing as "primordial water". While primordial volatiles (helium-3 springs to mind) are known and recognised, it is practically impossible to determine how long water has been trapped within the Earth as no dating can be performed on H2O. Therefore "primordial water" is a great idea, but it is never, ever used in scientific literature.

The best that can be said is that, within the broader term "ground water" you have components of meteoric water, magmatic water and metamorphic or formational brines. These water classes are recognised by dH and d18O stable isotopes, and in the case of magmatic waters, also by the presence of 3He. Formational brines, as far as I'm concerned, are different than metamorphic waters because of their salt content, chemical content, and age; you can date formational brines and metamorphic waters via several isotopes (Be, for instance, plus trittium, etc) and can determine the age of groundwaters and metamorphic or other sources.

When it comes, specifically, to hydrothermal fields, about 90% of the water comes from the ocean itself, drawn down by convection, or from the atmosphere and recent groundwaters (eg; New Zealand, Greenland, California). To say there is magmatic water is fine; but odds are you'd be laughed out of town for suggesting it contained water which was in the mantle since the Earth formed.Rolinator 07:43, 16 October 2006 (UTC)


They got featured on the current David Attenborough on the Beed and one thing they emphasised were the difference between hydrothermal vents in different areas (with ones in the Pacific being called Dragon ?? something) and I think that would be something worth highlighting (I'll watch the repeat and take notes). At the moment I am a bit concerned this article mirrors Black smoker and I suppose I'd like to see this as a more general article broken down with sections on each type of hydrothermal vent and the biology (extremophiles) [1]. I'd also like to mention relic hydrothermal vents found around the world in Ophiolites - I know the Troodos Mountains are one example. [2] "Black smoker chimney fragments in Cyprus sulphide deposits" [3]. Also can we confirm that hydrothermal vents aren't the same as black smokers? draws from various encyclopedias and only Wikipedia suggests it is a broader term - the rst say it is an oceanographic term and the same really as black smoker. [4] In which case the two need merging. (Emperor 15:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC))

A geyser on land is a hydrothermal vent (and here I'd include mud pools, hot lakes, etc etc). A black smoker is too; anywhere hydrothermal waters escape the rocks is a hydrothermal vent. So...there are reasons for not merging. Not all subsea hydrothermal fields result in black smokers or white smokers; some are too cool to result in sulphide precipitation but are still hot (say, 40-200 degrees). There's a spectrum, basically. If anything, black smokers could be merged in here without too much trouble.
For examples of hydrothermal vents which are not black smokers; the hot springs of Yellowstone, California, New Zealand, Greenland, Ethiopia, Czechoslovakia, etc. Some of the see mounds in the Gibon Desert, South Australia, are hot groundwaters derived from the basement formations of the great artesian basin. So, ok, says that all hydrothermal vents are oceanographic, but it doesn't mean that its what geologists would recognise as a vent of hot groundwaters.
There's no problem mentioning relict vents found in ophiolites or other marine volcanic sequences, so feel free to throw that in the article. Rolinator 23:02, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I found the David Attenborough dragon thing, They are called "dragon chimneys". They are almost the same as "black smokers", but different bacteria thrive in dragon chimneys, and the column of "smoke" isn't as big.najzeko 21:13, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Biological Communities Section[edit]

Someone has edited much of this section into an unreadable state. They have punctuated the text I added quite some time ago without blending it in appropriately (the part on tubeworms is a good example - the part about symbiotic bacteria makes absolutely no sense). I don't have the paper I wrote on hand, so I have no quick way of editing without being sure of factual info...IMKatgrrl (talk) 01:23, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

I see very little change to the section. Comparing the current section with the one you wrote on 13 April 2008 shows essentially no change. Compare for yourself diff. Vsmith (talk) 01:50, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I suggest the article on black smokers should be merged into this page, as black smokers are a subtype of hydrothermal vents. DiverDave (talk) 02:38, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

this page top heavy[edit]

Surely the suggested inclusion within the scope of Wikiproject Volcanoes and WikiProject Geology can be made without garishly tying up space at the top, leaving descriptions to the respective pages.

Aren't quality and importance scale ratings rather subjective in spite of guide lines. Shouldn't this be left to the reader to decide. Note these topics are referenced here at the bottom.

I suggest therefor, baring strenuous objection, that the templates at the top be removed , leaving this page for truly spontaneous discussion without promotion or implied directive. J.H.McDonnell (talk) 14:53, 13 September 2010 (UTC)


In the section on Physical Properties, a series a 5 bunched citations shows up in four places. In looking at them it turns out that they are essentially repeats, adding no real information to the first. The ref by Haase, K.M et al Nov 2007 would amply suffice by itself, or supplemented just by Karsten M. Haase, et al 2009. The rest are entirely superfluous even if interesting. J.H.McDonnell (talk) 14:59, 13 September 2010 (UTC)


i may just be imagining things, but i just scrolled past 2 sections titles exploration. for now im going to just delete one of the headers and merge the two, but there may need to be some work on the prose as well. cheers, Ryan shell (talk) 13:52, 19 April 2011 (UTC) nevermind, cant read. Ryan shell (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Pressure guidelines[edit]

I notice several references to 'barometric pressure' in this article. while technically correct, consideration for a change to the more accurate 'hydrostatic pressure' is suggested. The units of measure remain the same, but the atmospheric pressure, which is what most folks think of when they think of 'barometric pressure,' is a very small portion of the total subsurface pressure below 100 meters or so of sea water.

DocKrin (talk) 15:35, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Agree and done. Vsmith (talk) 16:11, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Water phase chart[edit]

A nice image, but I don't think it belongs with Hydrothermal vent? DG12 (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2011 (UTC)


In case it is of any use:

John von Radowitz, (January 5, 2012) " 'Lost World' of Marine Life in Antarctica". AAP, Retrieved January 6, 2011 --220 of Borg 03:32, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Looks like an advertisement in the Exploitation section[edit]

"Recently, mineral exploration companies, driven by the elevated price activity in the base metals sector during the mid-2000s, have turned their attention to extraction of mineral resources from hydrothermal fields on the seafloor. Significant cost reductions are, in theory, possible.[26] Consider that in the case of the Mount Isa orebody, large amounts of capital are required to sink shafts and associated underground infrastructure, then laboriously drill and blast the ore, crush and process it, to extract the base metals, an activity which requires a large workforce. The Marshall hydrothermal recovery system is a patented proposal to exploit hydrothermal vents for their energy and minerals. A hydrothermal field, consisting of chimneys and compacted chimney remains, can be reached from the surface via a dynamically positioned ship or platform, using conventional pipe, mined using modified soft rock mining technology (continuous miners), brought to the surface via the pipe, concentrated and dewatered then shipped directly to a smelter. While the concept sounds far-fetched, it uses already proven technology derived from the offshore oil and gas industries, and the soft-rock mining industries."

This reads like a sales pitch. Should this be deleted? (talk) 17:13, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes. Done. Danger High voltage! 22:55, 7 June 2013 (UTC)


Picture caption: "Liquid Carbon Dioxide" ???? Does anyone actually think that makes a shred of sense (text says 407 degrees ans the CO2 triple point is way below that). Bad Science. Shjacks45 (talk) 04:09, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

This source says that they are liquid droplets of CO2 due to the 1607 m water depth - [5]. Mikenorton (talk) 07:14, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Malware Link Removal[edit]

--Gary Dee 18:02, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

general figure on hydrothermal processes contains an error[edit]

Be carefull that the "synthetic" figure for hydrothermal processes (that one with blue and brown background) contains a basic big error that can induce wrong interpretations

the caption in pale blue for iron deposits is not iron-magnesium  deposits but iron-MANGANESE deposit

Dr Karpoff Anne Marie IPGS Strasbourg130.79.144.112 (talk) 16:37, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Concerning the Image of the Chemical Cycle[edit]

I was browsing this page when I came across the cartoon image included to explain the cycle of chemicals in a vent.

I have a question about it. It displays water percolating down through the crust, and then being forced upward again out the vent. Why is it that both of those things can happen? If water was being forced upward, it wouldn't percolate down. If it could percolate down, it wouldn't be forced upward.

What's going on here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:09, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Geothermal springs[edit]

Geothermal springs redirects to this article, but this article does not seem to cover the topic, particularly relating to those geothermal springs that are on land. The redirect was created more than a decade ago, but I think the topic deserves its own article. Comments? Suggestions? Agree? Disagree? (Due to watchlist overload, best to ping upon reply) Etamni | ✉   09:26, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Nevermind. Changing the redirect to take Geothermal springs to Hot spring. Etamni | ✉   09:30, 14 September 2016 (UTC)