Hydrothermal vents form in mid-ocean ridges where tectonic plates are spreading apart and seawater percolates down fissures and is heated by hot magma. They were first seen in 1977 in the Galapagos Islands by scientists who discovered that bacteria were converting toxic vent materials into usable energy for other organisms that had never been seen before.Know More
In areas where the Earth´s plates are spreading apart, seawater circulates under the ocean´s crust and is heated. When the heated water rises again to the ocean floor´s surface, it is vented as plumes.
The hottest, darkest plumes are black, rich in sulfur and can reach heights of up to 18 stories tall. White plumes are cooler and smaller in size and contain barium, calcium and silicon.Learn more in Earth Science
According to the U.S. Geological Survey website, tectonic plates are massive, irregular-shaped slabs of solid rock, composed of oceanic and continental lithosphere. The continental crust is made up of lightweight minerals like feldspar and quartz, while the oceanic crust is made of heavier and denser basaltic rocks.Full Answer >
Continental drift is caused by movement of the tectonic plates that continents sit on top of. Continental drift has continuously occurred throughout time, and continues to do so today. Rough estimates say that Europe and North America are drifting away from each other 2.5 centimeters per year.Full Answer >
Thunderstorms form when rapidly rising warm air brings moisture to higher parts of the atmosphere, then water vapor cools and condenses into droplets that fall to the Earth as rain. The process of rising warm air is called convection, which occurs when the atmosphere above the surface of the planet is unstable due to sudden changes in air pressure and temperature.Full Answer >
Fossils form when a dead animal or plant is covered by sediment. Eventually, the organic matter in the bone or plant, such as the blood vessels and tissue, slowly turns into rock, which becomes known as a fossil.Full Answer >