Humphris Susan E.

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Susan E.

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  • Article
    Unraveling the sequence of serpentinization reactions : petrography, mineral chemistry, and petrophysics of serpentinites from MAR 15°N (ODP Leg 209, Site 1274)
    (American Geophysical Union, 2006-07-06) Bach, Wolfgang ; Paulick, Holger ; Garrido, Carlos J. ; Ildefonse, Benoit ; Meurer, William P. ; Humphris, Susan E.
    The results of detailed textural, mineral chemical, and petrophysical studies shed new light on the poorly constrained fluid-rock reaction pathways during retrograde serpentinization at mid-ocean ridges. Uniformly depleted harzburgites and dunites from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 15°N show variable extents of static serpentinization. They reveal a simple sequence of reactions: serpentinization of olivine and development of a typical mesh texture with serpentine-brucite mesh rims, followed by replacement of olivine mesh centers by serpentine and brucite. The serpentine mesh rims on relic olivine are devoid of magnetite. Conversely, domains in the rock that are completely serpentinized show abundant magnetite. We propose that low-fluid-flux serpentinization of olivine to serpentine and ferroan brucite is followed by later stages of serpentinization under more open-system conditions and formation of magnetite by the breakdown of ferroan brucite. Modeling of this sequence of reactions can account for covariations in magnetic susceptibility and grain density of the rocks.
  • Article
    Globally aligned photomosaic of the Lucky Strike hydrothermal vent field (Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 37°18.5′N) : release of georeferenced data, mosaic construction, and viewing software
    (American Geophysical Union, 2008-12-05) Escartin, Javier E. ; Garcia, Rafael ; Delaunoy, O. ; Ferrer, J. ; Gracias, Nuno ; Elibol, A. ; Cufi, X. ; Neumann, L. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Renard, J.
    We present a georeferenced photomosaic of the Lucky Strike hydrothermal vent field (Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 37°18′N). The photomosaic was generated from digital photographs acquired using the ARGO II seafloor imaging system during the 1996 LUSTRE cruise, which surveyed a ∼1 km2 zone and provided a coverage of ∼20% of the seafloor. The photomosaic has a pixel resolution of 15 mm and encloses the areas with known active hydrothermal venting. The final mosaic is generated after an optimization that includes the automatic detection of the same benthic features across different images (feature-matching), followed by a global alignment of images based on the vehicle navigation. We also provide software to construct mosaics from large sets of images for which georeferencing information exists (location, attitude, and altitude per image), to visualize them, and to extract data. Georeferencing information can be provided by the raw navigation data (collected during the survey) or result from the optimization obtained from image matching. Mosaics based solely on navigation can be readily generated by any user but the optimization and global alignment of the mosaic requires a case-by-case approach for which no universally software is available. The Lucky Strike photomosaics (optimized and navigated-only) are publicly available through the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS, The mosaic-generating and viewing software is available through the Computer Vision and Robotics Group Web page at the University of Girona (∼rafa/mosaicviewer.html).
  • Article
    Brucite formation and dissolution in oceanic serpentinite
    (European Association of Geochemistry, 2020-10-27) Klein, Frieder ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Bach, Wolfgang
    Brucite is an important, albeit elusive, hydrous mineral formed during serpentinisation, a vector of Mg from the mantle to seawater, and possibly a significant host of water in oceanic serpentinite. However, the abundance of brucite has not been quantified in oceanic serpentinite and its fate and related chemical fluxes remain uncertain. We used thermal analysis and confocal Raman spectroscopy to determine the abundance and distribution of brucite in serpentinite recovered by seafloor drilling (n = 48) and dredging (n = 22). Almost all (90 %) of the drilled serpentinite samples contained brucite. The brucite contents increased with increasing extent of serpentinisation and constituted up to 15.6 wt. % of the altered rock. In contrast, dredged serpentinites were devoid of brucite and lost 4.0 wt. % MgO on average, which translates to an estimated average annual flux of 1.3 × 1010 mole Mg and about 2 × 1010 mole alkalinity during seafloor weathering of serpentinite globally. Our data suggest that, on average, brucite stores ∼20 % of the water in unweathered serpentinite, making brucite one of the largest water carriers in slow and ultra-slow spreading oceanic lithosphere.
  • Technical Report
    Cruise Report W-50 : scientific activities undertaken aboard the R/V Westward, Miami - Miami, 6 February 1980 - 19 March 1980
    (SEA Education Association, 1980-03) Humphris, Susan E.
    The purpose of this Cruise Report is to present a brief outline of the scientific activities completed aboard R/V Westward during W-50. Reports of the status of ongoing projects and of the traditional academic program are included, as well as abstracts from the research projects of the students. The report was composed at sea, and does not represent a detailed interpretation of the data. The limitations of the lack of library facilities and restricted time are clearly reflected in the contents. However, I feel that it is important for the students to be responsible for the completion of their projects while at sea, including writing up a report. The abstracts of these constitute the bulk of this report.
  • Preprint
    The origin of hydrothermal chlorite- and anhydrite-rich sediments in the middle Okinawa Trough, East China Sea
    ( 2017-05-18) Shao, Hebin ; Yang, Shouye ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Cai, Di ; Cai, Feng ; Li, Jiangtao ; Li, Qing
    During the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 331, five sites were drilled into the Iheya North Knoll hydrothermal system in the Okinawa Trough (OT) — a back-arc basin characterized by thick terrigenous sediment. Following up on the previous study by Shao et al. (2015), we present new mineralogical, geochemical, and Sr-Nd isotope data to investigate the origin of the hydrothermal sediments and characterize the hydrothermal system. The substrate at the Iheya North Knoll is dominated by pumiceous sediment and other volcanoclastic materials interbedded with hemipelagic (terrigenous and biogenous) sediments. Impermeable layers separate the hydrothermal sediments into distinct units with depth that are characterized by various assemblages of alteration materials, including polymetallic sulfides, sulfates, chlorite- and kaolinite-rich sediments. The rare earth elements (REEs) and Nd isotope data suggest that the chlorite-rich and kaolinite-rich layers primarily resulted from the alteration of pumiceous materials in different chemical and physical conditions. Kaolinite-rich sediment likely reflects low pH and low Mg concentration fluids, while chlorite-rich sediment formed from fluids with high pH and increased Mg contents, likely at higher temperatures. The Sr isotopic compositions of subsurface anhydrite reflect high seawater/hydrothermal fluid ratios in the mid-OT hydrothermal area. Compared with chlorite-rich sediments from other sediment-covered or felsic-hosted hydrothermal systems, the chlorite-rich sediments in the mid-OT are characterized by lower concentrations of Al and Fe but much higher Y, Zr, Hf, Th and REEs, indicative of the distinct nature of the precursor rocks in this region.
  • Thesis
    The hydrothermal alteration of oceanic basalts by seawater
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1976-10) Humphris, Susan E.
    Considerable geological and geophysical evidence now exists to support the hypothesis that seawater circulates through freshly intruded basalt at the mid-ocean ridges. As a consequence of this process, reactions between basalt and seawater take place at elevated temperatures. The mineralogy and chemistry of hydrothermally altered pillow basalts dredged from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and belonging to the greenschist facies, have been studied in order to determine the mineralogical changes that result from hyrdrothennal alteration, and to assess the chemical fluxes that result from these reactions in terms of their possible significance in elemental geochemical budgets as potential sources and sinks for elements in seawater. Where possible, pillow basalts were studied that showed varíous degrees of a1teration within a single rock. Such samples provide the best evidence that they have been affected by hydrothermal alteration, rather than regional burial metamorphism, and provide the most useful information for elemental flux calculatìons. During hydrothermal alteration, plagioclase is generally albitised, sometimes with the formation of epidote, and albite may be subsequently a1tered to chlorite. Plagioclase, in association with skeletal clinopyroxene, alters to chlorite and epidote. Olivine is pseudomorphed by chlorite, and clinopyroxene alters to actinolite. The glassy matrix alters to an intergrowth of actinolite and chlorite. Vein minerals irclude chlorite, actinolite, epidote, quartz, and sulphides. On the basis of their minaralogy, the samples may be subdivided into chlorite-rich (>15% chlorite and <15% epidote) and epidote-rich (>15% epidote and <15% chlorite) assemblages. The chlorite-rich assemblages lose CaO and gain MgO, while the epidote-rich samples show very little change in composition compared with their basalt precursor. The epidote-rich samples are more oxidised than their precursors, while the chlorite-rich rocks can be further suhdivided into those that maintain the same proportions of fetrous and ferric iron, and those that show an increase in ferrous iron due to the precipitation of pyrite. The major chemical changes that occur during hydrothermal alteration of pillow basalts are uptake of MgO and H2O, and loss of SiO2 and CaO. The concentrations of Na2O and K2O are apparently not greatly changed, although. they do show some variations in the core-to rim analyses. Consideration of the elemental fluxes in terms of steady-state geochemical mass balances indicates that hydrothermal alteration provides a sink for Mg, which is extremely important in solving the problem of apparent excess magnesium input to the oceans. The amount of calcium that is leached from the rock may be of significance in the geochemical budget of calcium. The concentration of silica in the circulating fluid is probably controlled by the solubility of quartz, and considerable redistribution of silica takes place within the basaltic pile. The changes in the redox conditions during hydrothermal alteration do not affect the present-day oxidation states of the atmosphere and hydrosphere. Trace element analyses indicate that copper and strontium are leached out of the rock and migrate in the circulating fluid, with local precipitation of Cu as sulphides in veins. Li, B, Mn, Ba, Ni and Co show sufficient variation in concentration and location within the altered basalts to indicate that some leaching does take place, and hence hydrothermal alteration of basalts could produce a metal-enriched solution, which may be important in the formation of metalliferous sediments at active mid-ocean ridges.
  • Technical Report
    Cruise Report W-60 : scientific activities undertaken aboard R/V Westward, Woods Hole - Barbados - Bequia - Martinique - St. Thomas, 14 October 1981 - 25 November 1981
    (SEA Education Association, 1981-11) Humphris, Susan E.
    This Cruise Report presents an outline of the scientific research activities and academic program conducted on board the R/V Westward during her sixtieth cruise in the fall of 1981. It consists of the abstracts from a series of individual projects that the students had defined prior to the cruise while taking the Shore Component, plus the preliminary results of oceanographic studies designed by me for this particular cruise. Also reported here are data which are being incorporated into the long-ter.m studies of SEA staff scientists and other associated researchers. In addition, for those of us that participated, it represents the product of our efforts and contains a record of other events that were an important part of the trip - in particular the activities during port stops.
  • Preprint
    The Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse hydrothermal field : a hydrothermal system on an active detachment fault
    ( 2015-02) Humphris, Susan E. ; Tivey, Margaret K. ; Tivey, Maurice A.
    Over the last ten years, geophysical studies have revealed that the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) hydrothermal field (26°08’N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) is located on the hanging wall of an active detachment fault. This is particularly important in light of the recognition that detachment faulting accounts for crustal accretion/extension along a significant portion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and that the majority of confirmed vent sites on this slow-spreading ridge are hosted on detachment faults. The TAG hydrothermal field is one of the largest sites of high-temperature hydrothermal activity and mineralization found to date on the seafloor, and is comprised of active and relict deposits in different stages of evolution. The episodic nature of hydrothermal activity over the last 140 ka provides strong evidence that the complex shape and geological structure of the active detachment fault system exerts first order, but poorly understood, influences on the hydrothermal circulation patterns, fluid chemistry, and mineral deposition. While hydrothermal circulation extracts heat from a deep source region, the location of the source region at TAG is unknown. Hydrothermal upflow is likely focused along the relatively permeable detachment fault interface at depth, and then the high temperature fluids leave the low-angle portion of the detachment fault and rise vertically through the highly fissured hanging wall to the seafloor. The presence of abundant anhydrite in the cone on the summit of the TAG active mound and in veins in the crust beneath provides evidence for a fluid circulation system that entrains significant amounts of seawater into the shallow parts of the mound and stockwork. Given the importance of detachment faulting for crustal extension at slow spreading ridges, the fundamental question that still needs to be addressed is: How do detachment fault systems, and the structure at depth associated with these systems (e.g., presence of plutons and/or high permeability zones) influence the pattern of hydrothermal circulation, mineral deposition, and fluid chemistry, both in space and time, within slowly accreted ocean crust?
  • Article
    Heat flow and near-seafloor magnetic anomalies highlight hydrothermal circulation at Brothers volcano caldera, southern Kermadec arc, New Zealand
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-07-18) Tontini, F. Caratori ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; de Ronde, Cornel E. J. ; Humphris, Susan E.
    Brothers volcano is the most hydrothermally active volcano along the Kermadec arc, with distinct hydrothermal fields located on the caldera walls and on the postcollapse volcanic cones. These sites display very different styles of hydrothermal activity in terms of temperature, gas content, fluid chemistry, and associated mineralization. Here we show the results of a systematic heat flow survey integrated with near‐seafloor magnetic data acquired using remotely operated vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles. Large‐scale circulation is structurally controlled, with a deep (~1‐ to 2‐km depth) central recharge through the caldera floor and lateral discharge along the caldera walls and at the summits of the postcollapse cones. Shallow (~ 0.1‐0.2 km depth) circulation is characterized by small‐scale recharge zones located at a distance of ~ 0.1–0.2 km from the active vent sites.
  • Preprint
    Explosive volcanism on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge, Arctic Ocean
    ( 2007-11-26) Sohn, Robert A. ; Willis, Claire ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Singh, Hanumant ; Edmonds, Henrietta N. ; Kunz, Clayton G. ; Hedman, Ulf ; Helmke, Elisabeth ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Liljebladh, Bengt ; Linder, Julia ; Murphy, Christopher A. ; Nakamura, Ko-ichi ; Sato, Taichi ; Schlindwein, Vera ; Stranne, Christian ; Tausenfreund, Upchurch ; Winsor, Peter ; Jakobsson, Martin ; Soule, Samuel A.
    Roughly 60% of the Earth’s outer surface is comprised of oceanic crust formed by volcanic processes at mid-ocean ridges (MORs). Although only a small fraction of this vast volcanic terrain has been visually surveyed and/or sampled, the available evidence suggests that explosive eruptions are rare on MORs, particularly at depths below the critical point for steam (3000 m). A pyroclastic deposit has never been observed on the seafloor below 3000 m, presumably because the volatile content of mid-ocean ridge basalts is generally too low to produce the gas fractions required to fragment a magma at such high hydrostatic pressure. We employed new deep submergence technologies during an International Polar Year expedition to the Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Basin at 85°E, to acquire the first-ever photographic images of ‘zero-age’ volcanic terrain on this remote, ice-covered MOR. Our imagery reveals that the axial valley at 4000 m water depth is blanketed with unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits, including bubble wall fragments (limu o Pele), covering a large area greater than 10 km2. At least 13.5 wt% CO2 is required to fragment magma at these depths, which is ~10x greater than the highest values measured to-date in a MOR basalt. These observations raise important questions regarding the accumulation and discharge of magmatic volatiles at ultra-slow spreading rates on the Gakkel Ridge (6- 14 mm yr-1, full-rate), and demonstrate that large-scale pyroclastic activity is possible along even the deepest portions of the global MOR volcanic system.
  • Technical Report
    Cruise Report W-67 : scientific activities undertaken aboard R/V Westward, St. Thomas - Bonaire - Belize - Miami, 25 November 1982 - 5 January 1983
    (SEA Education Association, 1983-01) Humphris, Susan E.
    This cruise report is intended to serve as an outline of the scientific research and academic program conducted on board the R/V Westward during her sixty-seventh cruise, which took place during the winter of 1982. Included are the abstracts from a series of projects that the students had defined prior to the cruise while taking the Shore Component in Woods Hole. Also reported herein are data which are being incorporated in the long-term studies of S.E.A. staff scientists and associated researchers.
  • Working Paper
    United States contributions to the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (US IIOE-2)
    (US Steering Committee, 2018-10-23) Hood, Raleigh R. ; Beal, Lisa M. ; Benway, Heather M. ; Chandler, Cynthia L. ; Coles, Victoria J. ; Cutter, Gregory A. ; Dick, Henry J. B. ; Gangopadhyay, Avijit ; Goes, Joachim I. ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Landry, Michael R. ; Lloyd, Karen G. ; McPhaden, Michael J. ; Murtugudde, Raghu ; Subrahmanyam, Bulusu ; Susanto, R. Dwi ; Talley, Lynne D. ; Wiggert, Jerry D. ; Zhang, Chidong
    From the Preface: The purpose of this document is to motivate and coordinate U.S. participation in the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) by outlining a core set of research priorities that will accelerate our understanding of geologic, oceanic, and atmospheric processes and their interactions in the Indian Ocean. These research priorities have been developed by the U.S. IIOE-2 Steering Committee based on the outcomes of an interdisciplinary Indian Ocean science workshop held at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on September 11-13, 2017. The workshop was attended by 70 scientists with expertise spanning climate, atmospheric sciences, and multiple sub-disciplines of oceanography. Workshop participants were largely drawn from U.S. academic institutions and government agencies, with a few experts invited from India, China, and France to provide a broader perspective on international programs and activities and opportunities for collaboration. These research priorities also build upon the previously developed International IIOE-2 Science Plan and Implementation Strategy. Outcomes from the workshop are condensed into five scientific themes: Upwelling, inter-ocean exchanges, monsoon dynamics, inter-basin contrasts, marine geology and the deep ocean. Each theme is identified with priority questions that the U.S. research community would like to address and the measurements that need to be made in the Indian Ocean to address them.
  • Article
    Fifty Years of Scientific Ocean Drilling
    (Oceanography Society, 2019-03-16) Becker, Keir ; Austin, James A. ; Exon, Neville ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Kastner, Miriam ; McKenzie, Judith A. ; Miller, Kenneth G. ; Suyehiro, Kiyoshi ; Taira, Masanori
    Nearly a century after the first systematic study of the global ocean and seafloor by HMS Challenger (1871–1876), US scientists began to drill beneath the seafloor to unlock the secrets of the ~70% of Earth’s surface covered by the seas. Fifty years of scientific ocean drilling by teams of international partners has provided unparalleled advancements in Earth sciences. Here, we briefly review the history, impacts, and scientific achievements of five decades of coordinated scientific ocean drilling.
  • Technical Report
    Cruise Report W-53 : scientific activities undertaken aboard R/V Westward, Woods Hole - Sydney - Bay of Islands - Lunenburg - Newport, 23 July - 3 September 1980
    (SEA Education Association, 1980-09) Humphris, Susan E.
    This Cruise Report presents a brief outline of the scientific research completed during cruise W-53 aboard the R/V Westward. Reports of the status of on-going projects, of the projects designed specifically for this cruise, and of the traditional academic program are included. In addition, abstracts from the research projects proposed and completed by the students are presented.
  • Technical Report
    Cruise Report W-56 : scientific activities undertaken aboard R/V Westward, Miami – Little San Salvador – Jamaica – Roatan – Miami, 4 February – 18 March 1981
    (SEA Education Association, 1981-03) Humphris, Susan E.
    This Cruise Report presents an outline of the scientific activities and academic program conducted on board the R/V Westward during her fifty-sixth cruise in the spring of 1981. It consists of the abstracts from a series of individual projects that the students had defined prior to the cruise while taking the Shore Component, plus the preliminary results of research designed by me to complement some of SEA's long-term projects.
  • Technical Report
    Cruise Report W-48 : scientific activities undertaken aboard R/V Westward, Woods Hole - St. Thomas, 10 October - 21 November 1979
    (SEA Education Association, 1979-11) Humphris, Susan E.
    This Cruise Report is written in an attempt to accomplish two objectives. Firstly, and more importantly, it presents a brief outline of the scientific research completed aboard R/V Westward during W-48. Reports of the status of on-going projects and of the traditional academic program are presented. In addition, abstracts from the research projects of each student are included. Secondly, for those of us that participated, it represents the product of our efforts and contains a record of other events that were an important part of the trip, in particular the activities during port stops.
  • Article
    Complex subsurface hydrothermal fluid mixing at a submarine arc volcano supports distinct and highly diverse microbial communities
    (National Academy of Sciences, 2020-12-04) Reysenbach, Anna-Louise ; St. John, Emily ; Meneghin, Jennifer ; Flores, Gilberto ; Podar, Mircea ; Dombrowski, Nina ; Spang, Anja ; L’Haridon, Stephane ; Humphris, Susan E. ; de Ronde, Cornel E. J. ; Tontini, F. Caratori ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; Stucker, Valerie ; Stewart, Lucy C. ; Diehl, Alexander ; Bach, Wolfgang
    Hydrothermally active submarine volcanoes are mineral-rich biological oases contributing significantly to chemical fluxes in the deep sea, yet little is known about the microbial communities inhabiting these systems. Here we investigate the diversity of microbial life in hydrothermal deposits and their metagenomics-inferred physiology in light of the geological history and resulting hydrothermal fluid paths in the subsurface of Brothers submarine volcano north of New Zealand on the southern Kermadec arc. From metagenome-assembled genomes we identified over 90 putative bacterial and archaeal genomic families and nearly 300 previously unknown genera, many potentially endemic to this submarine volcanic environment. While magmatically influenced hydrothermal systems on the volcanic resurgent cones of Brothers volcano harbor communities of thermoacidophiles and diverse members of the superphylum “DPANN,” two distinct communities are associated with the caldera wall, likely shaped by two different types of hydrothermal circulation. The communities whose phylogenetic diversity primarily aligns with that of the cone sites and magmatically influenced hydrothermal systems elsewhere are characterized predominately by anaerobic metabolisms. These populations are probably maintained by fluids with greater magmatic inputs that have interacted with different (deeper) previously altered mineral assemblages. However, proximal (a few meters distant) communities with gene-inferred aerobic, microaerophilic, and anaerobic metabolisms are likely supported by shallower seawater-dominated circulation. Furthermore, mixing of fluids from these two distinct hydrothermal circulation systems may have an underlying imprint on the high microbial phylogenomic diversity. Collectively our results highlight the importance of considering geologic evolution and history of subsurface processes in studying microbial colonization and community dynamics in volcanic environments.
  • Article
    Cemented mounds and hydrothermal sediments on the detachment surface at Kane Megamullion : a new manifestation of hydrothermal venting
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-09-03) Tucholke, Brian E. ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Dick, Henry J. B.
    Long-lived detachment faults are now known to be important in tectonic evolution of slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges, and there is increasing evidence that fluid flow plays a critical role in development of detachment systems. Here we document a new manifestation of low-temperature hydrothermal venting associated with the detachment fault that formed Kane Megamullion ∼3.3–2.1 m.y. ago in the western rift-valley wall of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Hydrothermal effects on the detachment surface include (1) cemented mounds of igneous rock and chalk debris containing hydrothermal Mn oxides and Fe oxyhydroxides, and (2) layered deposits of similar Fe-Mn minerals ± interbedded chalks. Mounds are roughly conical, ∼1–10 m high, and contain primarily basalts with lesser gabbro, serpentinite, and polymict breccia. The layered Fe-Mn-rich sediments are flat-bedded to contorted and locally are buckled into low-relief linear or polygonal ridges. We propose that the mounds formed where hydrothermal fluids discharged through the detachment hanging wall near the active fault trace. Hydrothermal precipitates cemented hanging-wall debris and welded it to the footwall, and this debris persisted as mounds as the footwall was exhumed and surrounding unconsolidated material sloughed off the sloping detachment surface. Some of the layered Fe-Mn-rich deposits may have precipitated from fluids discharging from the hanging-wall vents, but they also precipitated from low-temperature fluids venting from the exposed footwall through overlying chalks. Observed natural disturbance and abnormally thin hydrogenous Fe-Mn crusts on some contorted, hydrothermal Fe-Mn-rich chalks on ∼2.7 Ma crust suggest diffuse venting that is geologically recent. Results of this study imply that there are significant fluid pathways through all parts of detachment systems and that low-temperature venting through fractured detachment footwalls may continue for several million years off-axis.
  • Article
    Effusive and explosive volcanism on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel Ridge, 85°E
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-10-06) Pontbriand, Claire W. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Sohn, Robert A. ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Kunz, Clayton G. ; Singh, Hanumant ; Nakamura, Ko-ichi ; Jakobsson, Martin ; Shank, Timothy M.
    We use high-definition seafloor digital imagery and multibeam bathymetric data acquired during the 2007 Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE) to evaluate the volcanic characteristics of the 85°E segment of the ultraslow spreading Gakkel Ridge (9 mm yr−1 full rate). Our seafloor imagery reveals that the axial valley is covered by numerous, small-volume (order ~1000 m3) lava flows displaying a range of ages and morphologies as well as unconsolidated volcaniclastic deposits with thicknesses up to 10 cm. The valley floor contains two prominent volcanic lineaments made up of axis-parallel ridges and small, cratered volcanic cones. The lava flows appear to have erupted from a number of distinct source vents within the ~12–15 km-wide axial valley. Only a few of these flows are fresh enough to have potentially erupted during the 1999 seismic swarm at this site, and these are associated with the Oden and Loke volcanic cones. We model the widespread volcaniclastic deposits we observed on the seafloor as having been generated by the explosive discharge of CO2 that accumulated in (possibly deep) crustal melt reservoirs. The energy released during explosive discharge, combined with the buoyant rise of hot fluid, lofted fragmented clasts of rapidly cooling magma into the water column, and they subsequently settled onto the seafloor as fall deposits surrounding the source vent.
  • Preprint
    Experimental constraints on fluid-rock reactions during incipient serpentinization of harzburgite
    ( 2014-10-20) Klein, Frieder ; Grozeva, Niya G. ; Seewald, Jeffrey S. ; McCollom, Thomas M. ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Moskowitz, Bruce ; Berquo, Thelma S. ; Kahl, Wolf-Achim
    The exposure of mantle peridotite to water at crustal levels leads to a cascade of interconnected dissolution-precipitation and reduction-oxidation reactions—a process referred to as serpentinization. These reactions have major implications for microbial life through the provision of hydrogen (H2). To simulate incipient serpentinization under well-constrained conditions, we reacted centimeter-sized pieces of uncrushed harzburgite with chemically modified seawater at 300 ºC and 35 MPa for ca. 1.5 yr (13 441 h), monitored changes in fluid chemistry over time, and examined the secondary mineralogy at the termination of the experiment. Approximately 4 mol% of the protolith underwent alteration forming serpentine, accessory magnetite, chlorite, and traces of calcite and heazlewoodite. Alteration textures bear remarkable similarities to those found in partially serpentinized abyssal peridotites. Neither brucite nor talc precipitated during the experiment. Given that the starting material contained ~4 times more olivine than orthopyroxene on a molar basis, mass balance requires that dissolution of orthopyroxene was significantly faster than dissolution of olivine. Coupled mass transfer of dissolved Si, Mg, and H+ between olivine and orthopyroxene reaction fronts was driven by steep activity gradients and facilitated the precipitation of serpentine. Hydrogen was released in significant amounts throughout the entire experiment; however, the H2 release rate decreased with time. Serpentinization consumed water but did not release significant amounts of dissolved species (other than H2) suggesting that incipient hydration reactions involved a volume increase of ~40%. The reduced access of water to fresh olivine surfaces due to filling of fractures and coating of primary minerals with alteration products led to decreased rates of serpentinization and H2 release. While this concept might seem at odds with completely serpentinized seafloor peridotites, reaction-driven fracturing offers an intriguing solution to the seemingly self-limiting nature of serpentinization. Indeed, the reacted sample revealed several textural features diagnostic of incipient reaction-driven fracturing. We conclude that fracturing must have far reaching impacts on the rates of serpentinization and H2 release in peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems.