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October 2005

National Science Foundation: Sea Vent Viewer
Extraordinary visuals take you to the bottom of the ocean.
Grade Level: Pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8

The Sea Vent Viewer is part of the National Science Foundation’s Earth and Environmental Science site. It offers an interactive exploration of the ocean floor in and around a hydrothermal vent.
This interactive site is beautifully designed and user friendly. Visitors can click on numbers appearing on the main page imagemap to view information about each item. A text version of the entire site is also available.

This site provides an interactive way for students to learn about hydrothermal vents. The vents exist on the seafloor as much as 1.5 miles below the surface and support a rich ecosystem that includes fish, shrimp, tubeworms, mussels, crabs and clams. In areas of the seafloor with volcanic activity, water seeps through the cracks beneath the earth’s crust and is heated up to 756 degrees Fahrenheit and then gushes out in what looks like clouds of smoke. Visitors to the site can learn how the vents are formed, the human submersible used to explore them and about each of the various life forms that exists there such as anemones, zoarcid fish, and the Pompeii worm.


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