A piece of one of the chimney spires, cut in half and lined by a copper-rich mineral, called chalcopyrite.

This photograph shows a piece of one of the chimney spires. It has been cut in half and is 22 cm long. The interior of the chimney is lined by a copper-rich mineral called chalcopyrite. The gray-and-white zone near the exterior of the chimney is composed of iron, zinc and barium-rich minerals called pyrite, sphalerite and barite. Many of the mineral deposits mined on land today were once formed on the sea floor just like these chimneys. Image courtesy of Submarine Ring of Fire 2004 Exploration, NOAA Vents Program.


Related Links

Submarine Ring of Fire 2004

Submarine Ring of Fire 2004: April 6 Log

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery

Download high resolution image (jpg, 844 Kb)