Characteristics and Evolution of sill-driven off-axis hydrothermalism in Guaymas Basin – the Ringvent site

Teske, Andreas, McKay, Luke J., Ravelo, Ana Christina, Aiello, Ivano, Mortera, Carlos, Núñez-Useche, Fernando, Canet, Carles, Chanton, Jeffrey P., Brunner, Benjamin, Hensen, Christian, Ramírez, Gustavo A., Sibert, Ryan J., Turner, Tiffany, White, Dylan, Chambers, Christopher R., Buckley, Andrew, Joye, Samantha B., Soule, S. Adam and Lizarralde, Daniel (2019) Characteristics and Evolution of sill-driven off-axis hydrothermalism in Guaymas Basin – the Ringvent site Scientific Reports, 9 (Article number 13847). DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-50200-5.

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Abstract

The Guaymas Basin spreading center, at 2000 m depth in the Gulf of California, is overlain by a thick sedimentary cover. Across the basin, localized temperature anomalies, with active methane venting and seep fauna exist in response to magma emplacement into sediments. These sites evolve over thousands of years as magma freezes into doleritic sills and the system cools. Although several cool sites resembling cold seeps have been characterized, the hydrothermally active stage of an off-axis site was lacking good examples. Here, we present a multidisciplinary characterization of Ringvent, an ~1 km wide circular mound where hydrothermal activity persists ~28 km northwest of the spreading center. Ringvent provides a new type of intermediate-stage hydrothermal system where off-axis hydrothermal activity has attenuated since its formation, but remains evident in thermal anomalies, hydrothermal biota coexisting with seep fauna, and porewater biogeochemical signatures indicative of hydrothermal circulation. Due to their broad potential distribution, small size and limited life span, such sites are hard to find and characterize, but they provide critical missing links to understand the complex evolution of hydrothermal systems.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: hydrothermalism, Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California, Ringvent site, R/V Atlantis, Alvin
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Woods Hole
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/s41598-019-50200-5
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 11:58
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 11:58
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/47935

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