Predictions of hydrothermal alteration within near-ridge oceanic crust from coordinated geochemical and fluid flow models

Laura Reiser Wetzel, Jeff P. Raffensperger, Everett Shock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coordinated geochemical and hydrological calculations guide our understanding of the composition, fluid flow patterns, and thermal structure of near-ridge oceanic crust. The case study presented here illustrates geochemical and thermal changes taking place as oceanic crust ages from 0.2 to 1.0 Myr. Using a finite element code, we model fluid flow and heat transport through the upper few hundred meters of an abyssal hill created at an intermediate spreading rate. We use a reaction path model with a customized database to calculate equilibrium fluid compositions and mineral assemblages of basalt and seawater at 500 bars and temperatures ranging from 150 to 400°C. In one scenario, reaction path calculations suggest that volume increases on the order of 10% may occur within portions of the basaltic basement. If this change in volume occurred, it would be sufficient to fill all primary porosity in some locations, effectively sealing off portions of the oceanic crust. Thermal profiles resulting from fluid flow simulations indicate that volume changes along this possible reaction path occur primarily within the first 0.4 Myr of crustal aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-342
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume110
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

hydrothermal alteration
oceanic crust
fluid flow
Flow of fluids
ridges
crusts
prediction
predictions
abyssal hill
fluid composition
sealing
volume change
thermal structure
basements
basalt
flow pattern
Flow simulation
flow distribution
Chemical analysis
porosity

Keywords

  • Geochemistry
  • heat flow
  • Hydrology
  • Hydrothermal alteration
  • Oceanic crust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Predictions of hydrothermal alteration within near-ridge oceanic crust from coordinated geochemical and fluid flow models. / Wetzel, Laura Reiser; Raffensperger, Jeff P.; Shock, Everett.

In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol. 110, No. 3-4, 10.2001, p. 319-342.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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