Definition: The marine hydrothermal vent biome comprises regions of the marine benthic biome where heat generated due to tectonic activity, either at divergent plate boundaries or convergent ocean plates where back-arc spreading occurs, is released or 'vented' to the surface. The resultant high temperature water jets are laden with dissolved metals and minerals.
Definition: A hydrothermal vent found on the ocean floor. The vents are formed in fields hundreds of meters wide when superheated water from below the Earth's crust comes through the ocean floor. The superheated water is rich in dissolved minerals from the crust, most notably sulfides, which crystallize to create a chimney-like structure around each vent. When the superheated water in the vent comes in contact with the cold ocean water, many minerals are precipitated, creating the distinctive black color. The metal sulfides that are deposited can become massive sulfide ore deposits in time.
Definition: An aquatic biome that comprises systems of open-ocean and unprotected coastal habitats, characterized by exposure to wave action, tidal fluctuation, and ocean currents as well as systems that largely resemble these. Water in the marine biome is generally within the salinity range of seawater: 30 to 38 ppt.