Changing Brine Inputs Into Hydrothermal Fluids: Southern Cleft Segment, Juan de Fuca Ridge
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Changing Brine Inputs Into Hydrothermal Fluids: Southern Cleft Segment, Juan de Fuca Ridge

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  • Journal Title:
    Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
  • Description:
    In 2016, temperature recorders were recovered, temperatures were measured, and fluid samples were collected from Vent 1, a high temperature (338°C) hydrothermal discharge site on the southern Cleft Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Coupled with previous sampling efforts, this collection represents a 32-year record of discharge from a single chimney structure, the longest record to date. Remarkably, the fluid has remained brine-dominated for more than three decades. This brine formed during phase separation and segregation prior to initial observations in 1984. Although the chloride concentration of the discharging fluid has decreased with time, the fluid temperature has remained nearly constant for at least 3.3 years and probably for 15 or even 22 years. Compositions of the discharging fluids are consistent with inputs from a deep-sourced brine, which was last equilibrated at >400°C at a depth consistent with the base of the sheeted dikes and the brittle-ductile transition. This brine mixed (diffusion or dispersion) with a likely non-phase-separated, hydrothermal fluid prior to discharge. A survey of hydrothermal endmember fluids with chlorinities in excess of 700 mmol/kg shows, with the exception of Fe, a single trend between major ion concentrations and chlorinity even though data are from a range of crustal compositions, spreading rates, and water and magma depths. Calculated deep-sourced brines from hydrothermal fluid data are similar to data based on fluid inclusions and estimates of brine assimilation in magmas. A better understanding of brines is required given their potential duration of discharge and capacity for mobilizing metals.
  • Source:
    Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 21, e2020GC009360
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    CC BY
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