Ever wonder what happens deep under the water? Well there are more things that happen under the water than we know about. Large vortexes called megaplumes form when ordinary cold ocean water near the ocean floor, is super heated by magma domes. These “super heatings” result in powerful convection currents. “Plume” means an upwelling of molten material from the earth’s mantle. While the super heatings are taking place the water can reach 760 degrees Fahrenheit. A megaplume is made up of minerals, microscopes and dissolved gasses that rise and drift with the ocean. Some of the minerals within the megaplume consist of silver, copper, gold, and zinc.
What makes megaplumes so unique? Well there are a variety of things that separates these massive water geysers from every other thing under the water. First of all the megaplumes can get very large. They can stretch up to 1 mile high, 12 miles wide and can travel over hundreds of miles over several months. One megaplume was found in the Indian Ocean on December 12 2005. The megaplume stretched over 43.5 miles long. These giants can be found in or near mid ocean ridges. Megaplumes can also provide a living environment for creatures on the ocean floor, that can’t reach the sunlight. So instead they use the thermal and chemical energy released from the megaplume.
So in conclusion megaplumes are unique because they can reach and travel very long distances. They can support life where sunlight is not available. And the water emits mineral rich bubbles that rise to the surface and can be powerful enough to change the ocean’s currents. Researchers hope to learn more about megaplumes. They will continue to use some of the tools they have to hopefully find many other interesting things that happen deep under the oceans waves.