The composition of hydrothermal plumes reflects the physical and chemical characteristics of seafloor hydrothermal fluids, which in turn reflects the host rock and subseafloor reaction conditions as well as the water column processes that act to alter the plumes as they disperse and age. Here, we show that the turbidity, current, pH value, dissolved Fe (dFe), and dissolved Mn (dMn) compositions of hydrothermal plumes can be used to understand the spatial distribution and source of hydrothermal systems in the submarine geological environment. Data were obtained from 18 hydrocast stations, among which the water column samples were collected at 8 stations during the MANUS cruise of R/V KEXUE in 2015. The results showed that the Satanic Mills plume and Fenway plume rose approximately 140 m and 220 m above the seafloor, respectively. In the Satanic Mills plume, dFe remained longer than dMn during lateral plume dispersal. There was a clear intersection of the Satanic Mills plume and Fenway plume between 1625 m and 1550 m in the PACMANUS hydrothermal field, and the varied dispersion trends of the mixed plumes were affected by current velocities at different depths. The physical and chemical properties of the seawater columns in the Manus Basin were affected by the input of high-Mn, high-Fe, and low-Mg vent fluids. The turbidity and dFe, dMn, and dissolved Mg concentrations in the sections of the plumes proximal to the Satanic Mills, Fenway, and Desmos vent sites were generally higher (turbidity, Mn, and Fe) and lower (Mg) than those in the sections of the plumes that were more distal from the vent sites. This implied that the plumes proximal to their vent fluid sources, which were interpreted to have relatively young ages, dispersed chemically over time, and their concentrations became more similar to those of the plumes that were more distal from their vent fluid sources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)