Undersea Vent System Active for Ages

Chemical analyses reveal that the tall towers of a set of hydrothermal vents called the Lost City have been growing for 30,000 years.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM July 29, 2003

Deep at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, there is a huge and mysterious network of rock structures called the Lost City.

Rock spires on the steep slopes of an undersea mountain stretch as high as 18-story buildings. Cracks in the rocks spit out warm fluids that are full of minerals.

This mineral spire was formed as warm, extremely alkaline fluids spewed from the ocean floor and mixed with cold, carbonate-rich seawater.<br /><p>

This mineral spire was formed as warm, extremely alkaline fluids spewed from the ocean floor and mixed with cold, carbonate-rich seawater.

University of Washington/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Scientists ha...

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