Analysis and modeling of hydrothermal plume data acquired from the 85°E segment of the Gakkel Ridge Academic Article uri icon


  • We use data from a CTD plume-mapping campaign conducted during the Arctic Gakkel Vents (AGAVE) expedition in 2007 to constrain the nature of hydrothermal processes on the Gakkel Ridge at 85°E. Thermal and redox potential (Eh) anomalies were detected in two discrete depth intervals: 2400–2800 m (Interval 1) and 3000–3800 m (Interval 2). The spatial and temporal patterns of the signals indicate that the Interval 1 anomalies were most likely generated by a single large, high-temperature (T > 100°C) vent field located on the fault terraces that form the NE axial valley wall. In contrast, the Interval 2 anomalies appear to have been generated by up to 7 spatially distinct vent fields associated with constructional volcanic features on the floor of the axial valley, many of which may be sites of diffuse, low-temperature (T < 10°C) discharge. Numerical simulations of turbulent plumes rising in a weakly stratified Arctic Ocean water column indicate that the high-temperature field on the axial valley wall has a thermal power of ?1.8 GW, similar to the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse and Rainbow fields in the Atlantic Ocean, whereas the sites on the axial valley floor have values ranging from 5 to 110 MW.

publication date

  • June 30, 2010