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This animation shows the evolution of hydrothermal vent systems that occur at underwater volcanoes. Warm mineral-rich water released from the seafloor creates suitable habitat for organisms including tubesorms (Riftia pachyptila) and clams. Over time, the distribution of these organisms within their habitat can change, as individuals die and are replaced by others. Major disturbance to the ecosystem occurs during voclanic eruptions then the area is inundated with hot molten lava. When conditions are again suitable for these organisms, as hydrothermal fluids percolate up through the new lava, new organisms settle in the area.
Media Type: Animation
Data Type: Visualization
Investigator: Daniel Fornari