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The deep structure of a sea-floor hydrothermal deposit

The deep structure of a sea-floor hydrothermal deposit
The deep structure of a sea-floor hydrothermal deposit
Hydrothermal circulation at the crests of mid-ocean ridges plays an important role in transferring heat from the interior of the Earth1, 2, 3. A consequence of this hydrothermal circulation is the formation of metallic ore bodies known as volcanic-associated massive sulphide deposits. Such deposits, preserved on land, were important sources of copper for ancient civilizations and continue to provide a significant source of base metals (for example, copper and zinc)4, 5, 6. Here we present results from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 169, which drilled through a massive sulphide deposit on the northern Juan de Fuca spreading centre and penetrated the hydrothermal feeder zone through which the metal-rich fluids reached the sea floor. We found that the style of feeder-zone mineralization changes with depth in response to changes in the pore pressure of the hydrothermal fluids and discovered a stratified zone of high-grade copper-rich replacement mineralization below the massive sulphide deposit. This copper-rich zone represents a type of mineralization not previously observed below sea-floor deposits, and may provide new targets for land-based mineral exploration.
0028-0836
485-488
Zierenberg, Robert A.
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Fouquet, Yves
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Miller, D.J.
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Bahr, J.M.
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Baker, P.A.
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Bjerkgård, T.
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Brunner, C.A.
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Duckworth, R.C.
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Gable, R.
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Gieskes, J.
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Goodfellow, W.D.
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Gröschel-Becker, H.M.
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Guèrin, G.
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Ishibashi, J.
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Iturrino, G.
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James, R.H.
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Lackschewitz, K.S.
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Marquez, L.L.
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Nehlig, P.
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Peter, J.M.
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Rigsby, C.A.
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Schultheiss, P.
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Shanks, W.C.
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Simoneit, B.R.T.
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Summit, M.
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Teagle, D.A.H.
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Urbat, M.
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Zuffa, G.G.
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Zierenberg, Robert A.
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Fouquet, Yves
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Miller, D.J.
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Bahr, J.M.
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Baker, P.A.
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Bjerkgård, T.
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Brunner, C.A.
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Duckworth, R.C.
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Gable, R.
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Gieskes, J.
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Goodfellow, W.D.
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Gröschel-Becker, H.M.
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Guèrin, G.
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Ishibashi, J.
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Iturrino, G.
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James, R.H.
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Lackschewitz, K.S.
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Marquez, L.L.
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Nehlig, P.
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Peter, J.M.
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Rigsby, C.A.
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Schultheiss, P.
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Shanks, W.C.
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Simoneit, B.R.T.
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Summit, M.
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Teagle, D.A.H.
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Urbat, M.
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Zuffa, G.G.
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Zierenberg, Robert A., Fouquet, Yves, Miller, D.J., Bahr, J.M., Baker, P.A., Bjerkgård, T., Brunner, C.A., Duckworth, R.C., Gable, R., Gieskes, J., Goodfellow, W.D., Gröschel-Becker, H.M., Guèrin, G., Ishibashi, J., Iturrino, G., James, R.H., Lackschewitz, K.S., Marquez, L.L., Nehlig, P., Peter, J.M., Rigsby, C.A., Schultheiss, P., Shanks, W.C., Simoneit, B.R.T., Summit, M., Teagle, D.A.H., Urbat, M. and Zuffa, G.G. (1998) The deep structure of a sea-floor hydrothermal deposit Nature, 392, (6675), pp. 485-488. (doi:10.1038/33126).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Hydrothermal circulation at the crests of mid-ocean ridges plays an important role in transferring heat from the interior of the Earth1, 2, 3. A consequence of this hydrothermal circulation is the formation of metallic ore bodies known as volcanic-associated massive sulphide deposits. Such deposits, preserved on land, were important sources of copper for ancient civilizations and continue to provide a significant source of base metals (for example, copper and zinc)4, 5, 6. Here we present results from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 169, which drilled through a massive sulphide deposit on the northern Juan de Fuca spreading centre and penetrated the hydrothermal feeder zone through which the metal-rich fluids reached the sea floor. We found that the style of feeder-zone mineralization changes with depth in response to changes in the pore pressure of the hydrothermal fluids and discovered a stratified zone of high-grade copper-rich replacement mineralization below the massive sulphide deposit. This copper-rich zone represents a type of mineralization not previously observed below sea-floor deposits, and may provide new targets for land-based mineral exploration.

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Published date: 1998
Organisations: Geochemistry, Marine Geoscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 210219
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/210219
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: d59ae28b-2bd1-47d0-9199-e33c0b1fed48
ORCID for D.A.H. Teagle: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4416-8409

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Date deposited: 07 Feb 2012 10:23
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:46

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Contributors

Author: Robert A. Zierenberg
Author: Yves Fouquet
Author: D.J. Miller
Author: J.M. Bahr
Author: P.A. Baker
Author: T. Bjerkgård
Author: C.A. Brunner
Author: R.C. Duckworth
Author: R. Gable
Author: J. Gieskes
Author: W.D. Goodfellow
Author: H.M. Gröschel-Becker
Author: G. Guèrin
Author: J. Ishibashi
Author: G. Iturrino
Author: R.H. James
Author: K.S. Lackschewitz
Author: L.L. Marquez
Author: P. Nehlig
Author: J.M. Peter
Author: C.A. Rigsby
Author: P. Schultheiss
Author: W.C. Shanks
Author: B.R.T. Simoneit
Author: M. Summit
Author: D.A.H. Teagle ORCID iD
Author: M. Urbat
Author: G.G. Zuffa

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