Sea-floor tectonics and submarine hydrothermal systems

  title={Sea-floor tectonics and submarine hydrothermal systems},
  author={M. Hannington and C. D. Ronde and S. Petersen},
The discovery of metal-depositing hot springs on the sea floor, and especially their link to chemosynthetic life, was among the most compelling and significant scientific advances of the twentieth century. More than 300 sites of hydrothermal activity and sea-floor mineralization are known on the ocean floor. About 100 of these are sites of high-temperature venting and polymetallic sulfide deposits. They occur at mid-ocean ridges (65%), in back-arc basins (22%), and on submarine volcanic arcs… Expand

Figures from this paper

Progress in Deciphering the Controls on the Geochemistry of Fluids in Seafloor Hydrothermal Systems.
This review compares and contrast the vent fluid chemistry from hydrothermal fields in a range of tectonic settings to assess the relative roles of fluid-mineral equilibria, phase separation, magmatic input, seawater entrainment, and sediment cover in producing the observed range of fluid compositions. Expand
Geological, physical, and chemical characteristics of seafloor hydrothermal vent fields
Seafloor hydrothermal vent fields (SHVFs) are located in the mid-ocean ridge (MOR), backarc basin (BAB), island arc and hot-spot environments and hosted mainly by ultramafic, mafic, felsic rocks, andExpand
Submarine Hydrothermal Mineral Systems
Present-day, active submarine hydrothermal effluents, at spreading centres (mid-ocean ridges) and in oceanic volcanic arcs and back-arcs, are of considerable interest because they provide a windowExpand
The Oceans and Massive Sulfide Deposits
Abstract The ocean dominates the Earth's surface, but despite decades of exploration it remains poorly explored, with major geological, oceanographic and biological discoveries frequently being made.Expand
Seafloor massive sulfides from mid-ocean ridges: Exploring the causes of their geochemical variability with multivariate analysis
Abstract The neovolcanic zones of mid-ocean ridges are host to seawater-derived hydrothermal systems forming seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits. These deposits have high concentrations of baseExpand
Divining gold in seafloor polymetallic massive sulfide systems
Hydrothermal fluids on the modern seafloor are important carriers of base and precious metals in a wide range of volcanic and tectonic settings. The concentrations and distribution, especially ofExpand
Mineralization and Alteration of a Modern Seafloor Massive Sulfide Deposit Hosted in Mafic Volcaniclastic Rocks
Tinakula is the first seafloor massive sulfide deposit described in the Jean Charcot troughs and is the first such deposit described in the Solomon Islands—on land or the seabed. The deposit isExpand
Sulfur Isotope Composition of Seafloor Hydrothermal Vents in the Convergent Plate Boundaries of the Western Pacific: A Role of Magma on Generation of Hydrothermal Fluid
Seafloor hydrothermal system occurs along the volcanic mid-ocean ridge, back-arc spreading center, and other submarine volcanic regions. The hydrothermal system is one of the fundamental processesExpand
The geological setting of the ultramafic-hosted Logatchev hydrothermal field (14°45′N, Mid-Atlantic Ridge) and its influence on massive sulfide formation
The Logatchev hydrothermal field (14 degrees 45'N on the MAR) is one of a few submarine hydrothermal systems associated with ultramafic rocks. It is situated on the eastern inner flank of the riftExpand
Hydrothermal exploration of mid-ocean ridges: Where might the largest sulfide deposits be forming?
Highlights • “Black Smokers” on slow-spreading ridges can host larger seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits than on fast ridges. • The largest slow-ridge SMS deposits are typically associatedExpand


Polymetallic massive sulfides at the modern seafloor A review
Polymetallic massive sulfides on the modern seafloor have been found in diverse volcanic and tectonic settings at water depths ranging from about 3700 to 1500 m. These deposits are located at fast-,Expand
Venting of hydrothermal solutions on the seafloor, first discovered in 1977 at the Galapagos spreading center (GSC) (Figure 1), has now been shown to be a relatively common phenomenon on the worldExpand
Seafloor hydrothermal systems
The discovery of seafloor hydrothermal systems approximately two decades ago has led to a major reassessment of the Earth's thermal and geochemical budgets and has revolutionized our understanding ofExpand
Hydrothermal mineralization at seafloor spreading centers
The recent recognition that metallic mineral deposits are concentrated by hydrothermal processes at seafloor spreading centers constitutes a scientific breakthrough that opens active sites atExpand
Chemistry of submarine hydrothermal solutions at Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California
Abstract Reconnaisance ALVIN dives in the sediment-filled southern trough of the Guaymas Basin found active hot springs with temperatures ranging up to 315°C. High temperature activity is generallyExpand
Shallow-water polymetallic sulfide deposits in the Aeolian island arc
Back-arc basins represent the best-known present-day sites of ongoing massive sulfide deposition in subduction-related tectonic settings. Here we present results obtained from shallow-water sea-floorExpand
Elemental mercury at submarine hydrothermal vents in the Bay of Plenty, Taupo volcanic zone, New Zealand
Hot springs in active geothermal areas such as Yellowstone National Park, the Geysers geothermal field in California, and the Taupo volcanic zone in New Zealand are notably enriched in the traceExpand
Auriferous hydrothermal precipitates on the modern seafloor
Submarine hot springs were probable sources for gold enrichment in a variety of rock types which host mineable gold deposits. These include iron formations, mixed chemical and clastic sediments,Expand
Unusual geochemistry of hydrothermal vents on submarine arc volcanoes: Kasuga Seamounts, Northern Mariana Arc
Abstract DSRV Alvin dives in the Northern Mariana island arc recovered warm hydrothermal fluids from the summit areas of seamounts Kasuga 2 and Kasuga 3, as well as hydrothermal deposits of elementalExpand
Hydrothermal plumes, hot springs, and conductive heat flow in the Southern Trough of Guaymas Basin
Abstract A 9 km length of one of the axial rift valleys of a Gulf of California spreading center was mapped by Deep Tow and examined on ten “Alvin” dives. The Deep Tow CTD towed 10–100 m above theExpand