A dual sensor device to estimate fluid flow velocity at diffuse hydrothermal vents Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Numerous attempts have been made over the last thirty years to estimate fluid flow rates at hydrothermal vents, either at the exit of black smoker chimneys or within diffuse flow areas. In this study, we combine two methods to accurately estimate fluid flow velocities at diffuse flow areas. While the first method uses a hot film anemometer that performs high frequency measurements, the second allows a relatively rapid assessment of fluid flow velocity through video imagery and provides in situ data to calibrate the sensor. Measurements of flow velocities on hydrothermal diffuse flow areas were obtained on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). They range from 1.1 to 4.9 mm/sec., at the substratum level, in low temperature (4.5 to 16.4°C) diffuse flow areas from the Tour Eiffel sulfide edifice. A strong correlation was observed between fluid flow velocities and temperature, supporting the possible use of temperature as a proxy to estimate flow rates in diffuse flow areas where such a simple linear flow/temperature relation is shown to dominate.

publication date

  • November 2009