Poroelastic response of mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems to ocean tidal loading : implications for shallow permeability structure
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KeywordPoroelasticity; Tidal forcing; Permeability; Hydrothermalism; Time-series; Spectral analysis
We use the time delay between tidal loading and exit-fluid temperature response for hydrothermal vents to model the poroelastic behavior and shallow upflow zone (SUZ) effective permeability structure of three mid-ocean ridge (MOR) sites with different spreading rates. Hydrothermal vents at Lucky Strike field exhibit relatively small phase lags corresponding to high SUZ effective permeabilities of ≥ ~10−10 m2, with variations that we interpret as resulting from differences in the extrusive layer thickness. By contrast, vents at East Pacific Rise site exhibit relatively large phase lags corresponding to low SUZ effective permeabilities of ≤ ~10−13 m2. Vents at Main Endeavour field exhibit both high and low phase lags, suggestive of a transitional behavior. Our results demonstrate that tidal forcing perturbs hydrothermal flow across the global MOR system, even in places where the tidal amplitude is very low, and that the flow response can be used to constrain variations in SUZ permeability structure beneath individual vent fields.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016): 1660–1668, doi:10.1002/2015GL066479.
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