Vent Chemistry

Do Vents Affect the Entire Ocean?

The world’s oceans contain many chemicals other than water and salt. Where do these chemicals come from? Rivers carry some of the chemicals into the ocean. Hydrothermal vents supply others. When seawater seeps down into the ocean crust and is heated by the magma, it undergoes lots of chemical reactions.

When the fluid rises up through the seafloor, it carries many new chemicals with it, such as copper and zinc. These chemical reactions also remove chemicals from the seawater, such as oxygen and magnesium. Here is a look at some of the many chemical reactions that take place.