Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
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Hydrothermal vents
and laser Raman spectrometer

This photograph looks like the cover of a science fiction novel, but is a real photo of the deep seafloor taken by MBARI's remotely operated vehicle Tiburon. In 2004, an MBARI research team led by Peter Brewer used Tiburon to study hydrothermal vents along the Gorda Ridge, off Southern Oregon, where superheated water (up to 300 degrees Celsius) flows up from cracks in the seafloor. On the right side of the image, you can see Tiburon's manipulator arm reaching down toward the seafloor, holding an instrument called the laser Raman spectrometer. This instrument was used used to determine the chemical composition of the hydrothermal fluids, and adds an eerie green glow to the scene.

Note: This image may not be copied, reprinted, or used without explicit permission from MBARI.

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