Hydrothermal activity on the eastern SWIR (50°–70°E): Evidence from core-top geochemistry, 1887 and 1998

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Abstract

[1] Evidence for hydrothermal activity on the eastern SWIR has been reported previously in the form of optical-backscatter anomalies interpreted to indicate the presence of hydrothermal plumes. Here, I report on a brief reconnaissance analysis of the geochemical composition of core-top samples collected from sites both beneath and away from those previously-reported plume signals to determine whether evidence for fall-out of hydrothermal plume material is discernible. Samples used for this study were collected using the deep-diving submersible SHINKAI 6500 in 1998 and from the tallow-coatings applied to lead sounding lines, 111 years earlier, aboard HMS Egeria. The data indicate hydrothermal input to all but one of eight SHINKAI 6500 cores along the length of the eastern SWIR rift-valley, including the site of strongest previously reported plume anomalies. Comparison with a recent MAR study suggests that the cores analyzed here, however, may predominantly lie distant from any current or recently-active source of venting.

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