In this video excerpt from NOVA: “Earth From Space,” learn how hydrothermal vents produce mineral-rich water that nourishes organisms. Underwater footage shows mineral-laden water spewing from hydrothermal vents, which nourishes deep-sea ecosystems as well as life near the surface. The nutrients from vents circulate through the oceans over thousands of years and contribute to phytoplankton blooms. Satellite images show changes in the temperature and color of the surface of the ocean off the west coast of South America, indicating a large phytoplankton bloom that is fueled by minerals from Earth's crust and that forms the base of the marine food chain.
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