Diffuse venting at the ASHES hydrothermal field : heat flux and tidally modulated flow variability derived from in situ time-series measurements
Fornari, Daniel J.
Crone, Timothy J.
Kinsey, James C.
Kelley, Deborah S.
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Time-series measurements of diffuse exit-fluid temperature and velocity collected with a new, deep-sea camera, and temperature measurement system, the Diffuse Effluent Measurement System (DEMS), were examined from a fracture network within the ASHES hydrothermal field located in the caldera of Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca Ridge. The DEMS was installed using the HOV Alvin above a fracture near the Phoenix vent. The system collected 20 s of 20 Hz video imagery and 24 s of 1 Hz temperature measurements each hour between 22 July and 2 August 2014. Fluid velocities were calculated using the Diffuse Fluid Velocimetry (DFV) technique. Over the ∼12 day deployment, median upwelling rates and mean fluid temperature anomalies ranged from 0.5 to 6 cm/s and 0°C to ∼6.5°C above ambient, yielding a heat flux of 0.29 ± 0.22 MW m−2 and heat output of 3.1± 2.5 kW. Using a photo mosaic to measure fracture dimensions, the total diffuse heat output from cracks across ASHES field is estimated to be 2.05 ± 1.95 MW. Variability in temperatures and velocities are strongest at semidiurnal periods and show significant coherence with tidal height variations. These data indicate that periodic variability near Phoenix vent is modulated both by tidally controlled bottom currents and seafloor pressure, with seafloor pressures being the dominant influence. These results emphasize the importance of local permeability on diffuse hydrothermal venting at mid-ocean ridges and the need to better quantify heat flux associated with young oceanic crust.
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 Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17 (2016): 1435–1453, doi:10.1002/2015GC006144.
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