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Marine mineral exploration with controlled-source electromagnetics at the TAG hydrothermal field, 26N Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Marine mineral exploration with controlled-source electromagnetics at the TAG hydrothermal field, 26N Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Marine mineral exploration with controlled-source electromagnetics at the TAG hydrothermal field, 26N Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) deposits are of increasing economic interest in order to satisfy the relentless growth in worldwide metal demand. The Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) hydrothermal field at 26N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge hosts several such deposits. This study presents new controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM), bathymetric and magnetic results from the TAG field. Potential SMS targets were selected based on their surface expressions in high-resolution bathymetric data. High-resolution reduced to-the-pole magnetic data show negative anomalies beneath and surrounding the SMS deposits, revealing large areas of hydrothermal alteration. CSEM data, sensitive to the electrical conductivity of SMS mineralization, further reveal a maximum thickness of up to 80 m and conductivities of up to 5 S/m. SMS samples have conductivities of up to a few thousand S/m, suggesting that remotely inferred conductivities represent an average of metal sulphide ores combined with silicified and altered host basalt that likely dominates at greater depths.
1944-8007
5808-5816
Gehrmann, Romina
1ee547b2-aa53-4d38-9d36-a2ccc3aa52e2
North, Laurence J.
9dc2779f-0a6f-4619-8473-7f2eea6a83fc
Graber, Sebastian
05b717db-e249-4ef8-8478-0dc25a51a47e
Szitkar, Florent
1c08b488-6a9f-45f1-92cb-fb16429a547e
Petersen, Sven
875014f4-eace-4bed-b9f4-44f75757c678
Minshull, Timothy
bf413fb5-849e-4389-acd7-0cb0d644e6b8
Murton, Bramley
9076d07f-a3c1-4f90-a5d5-99b27fe2cb12
Gehrmann, Romina
1ee547b2-aa53-4d38-9d36-a2ccc3aa52e2
North, Laurence J.
9dc2779f-0a6f-4619-8473-7f2eea6a83fc
Graber, Sebastian
05b717db-e249-4ef8-8478-0dc25a51a47e
Szitkar, Florent
1c08b488-6a9f-45f1-92cb-fb16429a547e
Petersen, Sven
875014f4-eace-4bed-b9f4-44f75757c678
Minshull, Timothy
bf413fb5-849e-4389-acd7-0cb0d644e6b8
Murton, Bramley
9076d07f-a3c1-4f90-a5d5-99b27fe2cb12

Gehrmann, Romina, North, Laurence J., Graber, Sebastian, Szitkar, Florent, Petersen, Sven, Minshull, Timothy and Murton, Bramley (2019) Marine mineral exploration with controlled-source electromagnetics at the TAG hydrothermal field, 26N Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (11), 5808-5816. (doi:10.1029/2019GL082928).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) deposits are of increasing economic interest in order to satisfy the relentless growth in worldwide metal demand. The Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) hydrothermal field at 26N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge hosts several such deposits. This study presents new controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM), bathymetric and magnetic results from the TAG field. Potential SMS targets were selected based on their surface expressions in high-resolution bathymetric data. High-resolution reduced to-the-pole magnetic data show negative anomalies beneath and surrounding the SMS deposits, revealing large areas of hydrothermal alteration. CSEM data, sensitive to the electrical conductivity of SMS mineralization, further reveal a maximum thickness of up to 80 m and conductivities of up to 5 S/m. SMS samples have conductivities of up to a few thousand S/m, suggesting that remotely inferred conductivities represent an average of metal sulphide ores combined with silicified and altered host basalt that likely dominates at greater depths.

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Accepted/In Press date: 30 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 6 May 2019
Published date: 16 June 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431351
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431351
ISSN: 1944-8007
PURE UUID: a495d2aa-7182-46a2-bcec-dde9b17062b5
ORCID for Romina Gehrmann: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3099-2771
ORCID for Timothy Minshull: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8202-1379

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 05:24

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