Hydrothermally-induced melt lens cooling and segmentation along the axis of fast- and intermediate-spreading centers
Text S1: The mathematical formalism used to describe the thermal coupling between the hydrothermal and magmatic layers. (113.5Kb)
Text S2: The analytical model to quantify the migration of a freezing front in an initially impermeable layer. (150.6Kb)
Fontaine, Fabrice J.
Olive, Jean-Arthur L.
Escartin, Javier E.
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The heat output and thermal regime of fast and intermediate spreading centers are strongly controlled by boundary layer processes between the hydrothermal system and the underlying crustal magma chamber (AMC), which remain to be fully understood. Here, we model the interactions between a shallow two-dimensional cellular hydrothermal system at temperatures <700°C, and a deeper AMC at temperatures up to 1200°C. We show that hydrothermal cooling can freeze the AMC in years to decades, unless melt injections occur on commensurate timescales. Moreover, the differential cooling between upflow and downflow zones can segment the AMC into mush and melt regions that alternate on sub-kilometric length scales. These predictions are consistent with along-axis variations in AMC roof depth observed in ophiolites and oceanic settings. In this respect, fine-scale geophysical investigations of the structure of AMCs may help constrain hydrothermal recharge locations associated with active hydrothermal sites.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2011. 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 38 (2011): L14307, doi:10.1029/2011GL047798.
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