The in situ pH of hydrothermal fluids at mid-ocean ridges
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Here we report the first in situ pH of hydrothermal vent fluids at mid-ocean ridges. Measurements were made during dives with DSV Alvin to the Main Endeavour Field (Juan de Fuca Ridge) and the East Pacific Rise at 21 degrees N, and 9 degrees-10 degrees N using solid-state electrochemical sensors. Vent fluid temperature and pressure ranged from 180 to 384 degrees C and 220 to 250 bar, respectively. pH((in situ)) of the highest temperature vent fluid is only slightly acidic (5.1-5.4), although sharply lower values occur at the seawater/vent-fluid interface. Knowledge of pH((in situ)) is essential for unravelling the complex geochemical and biogeochemical processes controlling the evolution of seafloor hydrothermal systems. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.