Mittelstaedt Eric

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  • Article
    The role of elasticity in simulating long-term tectonic extension
    (Oxford University Press, 2016-01-27) Olive, Jean-Arthur ; Behn, Mark D. ; Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Ito, Garrett T. ; Klein, Benjamin Z.
    While elasticity is a defining characteristic of the Earth's lithosphere, it is often ignored in numerical models of long-term tectonic processes in favour of a simpler viscoplastic description. Here we assess the consequences of this assumption on a well-studied geodynamic problem: the growth of normal faults at an extensional plate boundary. We conduct 2-D numerical simulations of extension in elastoplastic and viscoplastic layers using a finite difference, particle-in-cell numerical approach. Our models simulate a range of faulted layer thicknesses and extension rates, allowing us to quantify the role of elasticity on three key observables: fault-induced topography, fault rotation, and fault life span. In agreement with earlier studies, simulations carried out in elastoplastic layers produce rate-independent lithospheric flexure accompanied by rapid fault rotation and an inverse relationship between fault life span and faulted layer thickness. By contrast, models carried out with a viscoplastic lithosphere produce results that may qualitatively resemble the elastoplastic case, but depend strongly on the product of extension rate and layer viscosity U × ηL. When this product is high, fault growth initially generates little deformation of the footwall and hanging wall blocks, resulting in unrealistic, rigid block-offset in topography across the fault. This configuration progressively transitions into a regime where topographic decay associated with flexure is fully accommodated within the numerical domain. In addition, high U × ηL favours the sequential growth of multiple short-offset faults as opposed to a large-offset detachment. We interpret these results by comparing them to an analytical model for the fault-induced flexure of a thin viscous plate. The key to understanding the viscoplastic model results lies in the rate-dependence of the flexural wavelength of a viscous plate, and the strain rate dependence of the force increase associated with footwall and hanging wall bending. This behaviour produces unrealistic deformation patterns that can hinder the geological relevance of long-term rifting models that assume a viscoplastic rheology.
  • Article
    Quantifying diffuse and discrete venting at the Tour Eiffel vent site, Lucky Strike hydrothermal field
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-04-19) Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Escartin, Javier E. ; Gracias, Nuno ; Olive, Jean-Arthur L. ; Barreyre, Thibaut ; Davaille, Anne ; Cannat, Mathilde ; Garcia, Rafael
    The relative heat carried by diffuse versus discrete venting of hydrothermal fluids at mid-ocean ridges is poorly constrained and likely varies among vent sites. Estimates of the proportion of heat carried by diffuse flow range from 0% to 100% of the total axial heat flux. Here, we present an approach that integrates imagery, video, and temperature measurements to accurately estimate this partitioning at a single vent site, Tour Eiffel in the Lucky Strike hydrothermal field along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Fluid temperatures, photographic mosaics of the vent site, and video sequences of fluid flow were acquired during the Bathyluck'09 cruise (Fall, 2009) and the Momarsat'10 cruise (Summer, 2010) to the Lucky Strike hydrothermal field by the ROV Victor6000 aboard the French research vessel the “Pourquoi Pas”? (IFREMER, France). We use two optical methods to calculate the velocities of imaged hydrothermal fluids: (1) for diffuse venting, Diffuse Flow Velocimetry tracks the displacement of refractive index anomalies through time, and (2) for discrete jets, Particle Image Velocimetry tracks eddies by cross-correlation of pixel intensities between subsequent images. To circumvent video blurring associated with rapid velocities at vent orifices, exit velocities at discrete vents are calculated from the best fit of the observed velocity field to a model of a steady state turbulent plume where we vary the model vent radius and fluid exit velocity. Our results yield vertical velocities of diffuse effluent between 0.9 cm s−1 and 11.1 cm s−1 for fluid temperatures between 3°C and 33.5°C above that of ambient seawater, and exit velocities of discrete jets between 22 cm s−1 and 119 cm s−1 for fluid temperatures between 200°C and 301°C above ambient seawater. Using the calculated fluid velocities, temperature measurements, and photo mosaics of the actively venting areas, we calculate a heat flux due to diffuse venting from thin fractures of 3.15 ± 2.22 MW, discrete venting of 1.07 ± 0.66 MW, and, by incorporating previous estimates of diffuse heat flux density from Tour Eiffel, diffuse flux from the main sulfide mound of ∼15.6 MW. We estimate that the total integrated heat flux from the Tour Eiffel site is 19.82 ± 2.88 MW and that the ratio of diffuse to discrete heat flux is ∼18. We discuss the implication of these results for the characterization of different vent sites within Lucky Strike and in the context of a compilation of all available measurements of the ratio of diffuse to discrete heat flux.
  • Article
    Crustal magnetization and the subseafloor structure of the ASHES vent field, Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca Ridge : implications for the investigation of hydrothermal sites
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-06-24) Tontini, F. Caratori ; Crone, Timothy J. ; de Ronde, Cornel E. J. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Kinsey, James C. ; Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Tivey, Maurice A.
    High-resolution geophysical data have been collected using the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Sentry over the ASHES (Axial Seamount Hydrothermal Emission Study) high-temperature (~348°C) vent field at Axial Seamount, on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Multiple surveys were performed on a 3-D grid at different altitudes above the seafloor, providing an unprecedented view of magnetic data resolution as a function of altitude above the seafloor. Magnetic data derived near the seafloor show that the ASHES field is characterized by a zone of low magnetization, which can be explained by hydrothermal alteration of the host volcanic rocks. Surface manifestations of hydrothermal activity at the ASHES vent field are likely controlled by a combination of local faults and fractures and different lava morphologies near the seafloor. Three-dimensional inversion of the magnetic data provides evidence of a vertical, pipe-like upflow zone of the hydrothermal fluids with a vertical extent of ~100 m.
  • Preprint
    Mid-ocean ridge jumps associated with hotspot magmatism
    ( 2007-10-11) Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Ito, Garrett T. ; Behn, Mark D.
    Hotspot-ridge interaction produces a wide range of phenomena including excess crustal thickness, geochemical anomalies, off-axis volcanic ridges and ridge relocations or jumps. Ridges are recorded to have jumped toward many hotspots including, Iceland, Discovery, Galapagos, Kerguelen and Tristan de Cuhna. The causes of ridge jumps likely involve a number of interacting processes related to hotspots. One such process is reheating of the lithosphere as magma penetrates it to feed near-axis volcanism. We study this effect by using the hybrid, finite-element code, FLAC, to simulate two-dimensional (2-D, cross-section) viscous mantle flow, elasto-plastic deformation of the lithosphere and heat transport in a ridge setting near an off-axis hotspot. Heating due to magma transport through the lithosphere is implemented within a hotspot region of fixed width. To determine the conditions necessary to initiate a ridge jump, we vary four parameters: hotspot magmatic heating rate, spreading rate, seafloor age at the location of the hotspot and ridge migration rate. Our results indicate that the hotspot magmatic heating rate required to initiate a ridge jump increases non-linearly with increasing spreading rate and seafloor age. Models predict that magmatic heating, itself, is most likely to cause jumps at slow spreading rates such as at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on Iceland. In contrast, despite the higher magma flux at the Galapagos hotspot, magmatic heating alone is probably insufficient to induce a ridge jump at the present-day due to the intermediate ridge spreading rate of the Galapagos Spreading Center. The time required to achieve a ridge jump, for fixed or migrating ridges, is found to be on the order of 105-106 years. Simulations that incorporate ridge migration predict that after a ridge jump occurs the hotspot and ridge migrate together for time periods that increase with magma flux. Model results also suggest a mechanism for ridge reorganizations not related to hotspots such as ridge jumps in back-arc settings and ridge segment propagation along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
  • Article
    Structure, temporal evolution, and heat flux estimates from the Lucky Strike deep-sea hydrothermal field derived from seafloor image mosaics
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-04-19) Barreyre, Thibaut ; Escartin, Javier E. ; Garcia, Rafael ; Cannat, Mathilde ; Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Prados, Ricard
    Here we demonstrate with a study of the Lucky Strike hydrothermal field that image mosaicing over large seafloor areas is feasible with new image processing techniques, and that repeated surveys allow temporal studies of active processes. Lucky Strike mosaics, generated from >56,000 images acquired in 1996, 2006, 2008 and 2009, reveal the distribution and types of diffuse outflow throughout the field, and their association with high-temperature vents. In detail, the zones of outflow are largely controlled by faults, and we suggest that the spatial clustering of active zones likely reflects the geometry of the underlying plumbing system. Imagery also provides constraints on temporal variability at two time-scales. First, based upon changes in individual outflow features identified in mosaics acquired in different years, we document a general decline of diffuse outflow throughout the vent field over time-scales up to 13 years. Second, the image mosaics reveal broad patches of seafloor that we interpret as fossil outflow zones, owing to their association with extinct chimneys and hydrothermal deposits. These areas encompass the entire region of present-day hydrothermal activity, suggesting that the plumbing system has persisted over long periods of time, loosely constrained to hundreds to thousands of years. The coupling of mosaic interpretation and available field measurements allow us to independently estimate the heat flux of the Lucky Strike system at ~200 to 1000 MW, with 75% to >90% of this flux taken up by diffuse hydrothermal outflow. Based on these heat flux estimates, we propose that the temporal decline of the system at short and long time scales may be explained by the progressive cooling of the AMC, without replenishment. The results at Lucky Strike demonstrate that repeated image surveys can be routinely performed to characterize and study the temporal variability of a broad range of vent sites hosting active processes (e.g., cold seeps, hydrothermal fields, gas outflows, etc.), allowing a better understanding of fluid flow dynamics from the sub-seafloor, and a quantification of fluxes.
  • Article
    Multiple expressions of plume-ridge interaction in the Galapagos : volcanic lineaments and ridge jumps
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-05-31) Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Harpp, Karen S. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; McKee, C. ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; Geist, Dennis J. ; Kurz, Mark D. ; Sinton, Christopher ; Mello, C.
    Anomalous volcanism and tectonics between near-ridge mantle plumes and mid-ocean ridges provide important insights into the mechanics of plume-lithosphere interaction. We present new observations and analysis of multibeam, side scan sonar, sub-bottom chirp, and total magnetic field data collected during the R/V Melville FLAMINGO cruise (MV1007; May–June, 2010) to the Northern Galápagos Volcanic Province (NGVP), the region between the Galápagos Archipelago and the Galápagos Spreading Center (GSC) on the Nazca Plate, and to the region east of the Galápagos Transform Fault (GTF) on the Cocos Plate. The NGVP exhibits pervasive off-axis volcanism related to the nearby Galápagos hot spot, which has dominated the tectonic evolution of the region. Observations indicate that ~94% of the excess volcanism in our survey area occurs on the Nazca Plate in three volcanic lineaments. Identified faults in the NGVP are consistent with normal ridge spreading except for those within a ~60 km wide swath of transform-oblique faults centered on the GTF. These transform-oblique faults are sub-parallel to the elongation direction of larger lineament volcanoes, suggesting that lineament formation is influenced by the lithospheric stress field. We evaluate current models for lineament formation using existing and new observations as well as numerical models of mantle upwelling and melting. The data support a model where the lithospheric stress field controls the location of volcanism along the lineaments while several processes likely supply melt to these eruptions. Synthetic magnetic models and an inversion for crustal magnetization are used to determine the tectonic history of the study area. Results are consistent with creation of the GTF by two southward ridge jumps, part of a series of jumps that have maintained a plume-ridge separation distance of 145 km to 215 km since ~5 Ma.
  • Article
    Diffuse venting at the ASHES hydrothermal field : heat flux and tidally modulated flow variability derived from in situ time-series measurements
    (John WIley & Sons, 2016-04-27) Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Crone, Timothy J. ; Kinsey, James C. ; Kelley, Deborah S. ; Elend, Mitch
    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.
  • Article
    The final stages of slip and volcanism on an oceanic detachment fault at 13°48′N, Mid‐Atlantic Ridge
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-09-14) Parnell-Turner, Ross ; Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Kurz, Mark D. ; Jones, Meghan R. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Klein, Frieder ; Wanless, V. Dorsey ; Fornari, Daniel J.
    While processes associated with initiation and maintenance of oceanic detachment faults are becoming better constrained, much less is known about the tectonic and magmatic conditions that lead to fault abandonment. Here we present results from near‐bottom investigations using the submersible Alvin and autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry at a recently extinct detachment fault near 13°48′N, Mid‐Atlantic Ridge, that allow documentation of the final stages of fault activity and magmatism. Seafloor imagery, sampling, and near‐bottom magnetic data show that the detachment footwall is intersected by an ~850 m‐wide volcanic outcrop including pillow lavas. Saturation pressures in these vesicular basalts, based on dissolved H2O and CO2, are less than their collection pressures, which could be explained by eruption at a shallower level than their present depth. Sub‐bottom profiles reveal that sediment thickness, a loose proxy for seafloor age, is ~2 m greater on top of the volcanic terrain than on the footwall adjacent to the hanging‐wall cutoff. This difference could be explained by current‐driven erosion in the axial valley or by continued slip after volcanic emplacement, on either a newly formed or pre‐existing fault. Since current speeds near the footwall are unlikely to be sufficient to cause significant erosion, we favor the hypothesis that detachment slip continued after the episode of magmatism, consistent with growing evidence that oceanic detachments can continue to slip despite hosting magmatic intrusions.
  • Article
    Integrating Multidisciplinary Observations in Vent Environments (IMOVE): decadal progress in deep-sea observatories at hydrothermal vents
    (Frontiers Media, 2022-05-13) Matabos, Marjolaine ; Barreyre, Thibaut ; Juniper, S. Kim ; Cannat, Mathilde ; Kelley, Deborah S. ; Alfaro-Lucas, Joan M. ; Chavagnac, Valerie ; Colaço, Ana ; Escartin, Javier E. ; Escobar Briones, Elva ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Hasenclever, Jörg ; Huber, Julie A. ; Laës-Huon, Agathe ; Lantéri, Nadine ; Levin, Lisa A. ; Mihaly, Steven F. ; Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Pradillon, Florence ; Sarradin, Pierre-Marie ; Sarradin, Pierre-Marie ; Sarrazin, Jozée ; Tomasi, Beatrice ; Venkatesan, Ramasamy ; Vic, Clément
    The unique ecosystems and biodiversity associated with mid-ocean ridge (MOR) hydrothermal vent systems contrast sharply with surrounding deep-sea habitats, however both may be increasingly threatened by anthropogenic activity (e.g., mining activities at massive sulphide deposits). Climate change can alter the deep-sea through increased bottom temperatures, loss of oxygen, and modifications to deep water circulation. Despite the potential of these profound impacts, the mechanisms enabling these systems and their ecosystems to persist, function and respond to oceanic, crustal, and anthropogenic forces remain poorly understood. This is due primarily to technological challenges and difficulties in accessing, observing and monitoring the deep-sea. In this context, the development of deep-sea observatories in the 2000s focused on understanding the coupling between sub-surface flow and oceanic and crustal conditions, and how they influence biological processes. Deep-sea observatories provide long-term, multidisciplinary time-series data comprising repeated observations and sampling at temporal resolutions from seconds to decades, through a combination of cabled, wireless, remotely controlled, and autonomous measurement systems. The three existing vent observatories are located on the Juan de Fuca and Mid-Atlantic Ridges (Ocean Observing Initiative, Ocean Networks Canada and the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water column Observatory). These observatories promote stewardship by defining effective environmental monitoring including characterizing biological and environmental baseline states, discriminating changes from natural variations versus those from anthropogenic activities, and assessing degradation, resilience and recovery after disturbance. This highlights the potential of observatories as valuable tools for environmental impact assessment (EIA) in the context of climate change and other anthropogenic activities, primarily ocean mining. This paper provides a synthesis on scientific advancements enabled by the three observatories this last decade, and recommendations to support future studies through international collaboration and coordination. The proposed recommendations include: i) establishing common global scientific questions and identification of Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) specific to MORs, ii) guidance towards the effective use of observatories to support and inform policies that can impact society, iii) strategies for observatory infrastructure development that will help standardize sensors, data formats and capabilities, and iv) future technology needs and common sampling approaches to answer today’s most urgent and timely questions.