Crustal magnetization and the subseafloor structure of the ASHES vent field, Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca Ridge: Implications for the investigation of hydrothermal sites Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • 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.

publication date

  • June 28, 2016