In situ Raman analyses of deep-sea hydrothermal and cold seep systems (Gorda Ridge and Hydrate Ridge)
White, Sheri N.
Dunk, R. M.
Peltzer, Edward T.
Freeman, J. J.
Brewer, Peter G.
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The Deep Ocean Raman In Situ Spectrometer (DORISS) instrument was deployed at the Sea Cliff Hydrothermal Field and Hydrate Ridge in July 2004. The first in situ Raman spectra of hydrothermal minerals, fluids, and bacterial mats were obtained. These spectra were analyzed and compared to laboratory Raman measurements of standards and samples collected from the site. Spectra of vent fluid (∼294°C at the orifice) at ∼2700 m depth were collected with noncontact and immersion sampling optics. Compared to spectra of ambient (∼2°C) seawater, the vent fluid spectra show changes in the intensity and positions of the water O-H stretch bands due to the elevated temperature. The sulfate band observed in seawater spectra is reduced in vent fluid spectra as sulfate is removed from vent fluid in the subseafloor. Additional components of hydrothermal fluid are present in concentrations too low to be detected with the current Raman system. A precision underwater positioner (PUP) was used to focus the laser spot on opaque samples such as minerals and bacterial mats. Spectra were obtained of anhydrite from actively venting chimneys, and of barite deposits in hydrothermal crusts. Laboratory analysis of rock samples collected in the vent field also detected the presence of gypsum. Spectra of bacterial mats revealed the presence of elemental sulfur (S8) and the carotenoid beta-carotene. Challenges encountered include strong fluorescence from minerals and organics and insufficient sensitivity of the instrument. The next generation DORISS instrument addresses some of these challenges and holds great potential for use in deep-sea vent environments.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 7 (2006): Q05023, doi:10.1029/2005GC001204.
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