In this paper, a novel visual experimental apparatus for simulating seafloor hydrothermal venting is proposed. The instrument consists mainly of an acrylic pressure vessel and a hydrothermal fluid syringe pump, which provided a 360 deg view of the simulated hydrothermal venting and plumes. Theoretical calculation and finite element analysis (FEA) were conducted to demonstrate the appropriateness of material selection and structural design for the acrylic pressure vessel. The experimental apparatus was tested at elevated temperature and pressure of up to 300 °C and 12 MPa. Hydrothermal venting experiments were successfully carried out with this apparatus, and clear images of hydrothermal plumes were obtained.

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