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Spatio-temporal Dynamics of Hydrothermal Circulation over 10 million years of Ultraslow- Rifting and Spreading

Present spatiotemporal variations of hydrothermal fluxes in the modern and recent ocean provide an observational snapshot of the dynamic interaction between the tectonics of ocean basins and submarine hydrothermal systems. In order to support the understanding of feedbacks between tectonics and the life cycle of hydrothermal systems, we discuss the mechanical, fluid flow and heat flux patterns in a coupled ThermoHydroMechanical model at the ocean basin scale. The case study is an ultra-slow spreading basin, evolving from the initial rifting stages up to the ridge formation. Heat release by plastic deformation at fractures and faults, exothermic serpentinization reactions, sensible and latent crystallization heat from magmatic emplacement and radiogenic heat provide different energy-source signatures promoting hydrothermal activity. The large basin-scale domain allows us to navigate through the evolution of the modelled concurrent hydrothermal systems, emerging and decaying in consonance with the tectonics and the energy-sources. We discuss how the evolving permeability field in crust and sediments exerts a strong control on the hydrothermal circulation, and describe the dynamics of reorganization patterns in fluid flow in response to the mechanical strains and heat sources.


Javier Garcia-Pintado1, Marta Perez-Gussinye1, Leila Mezri1
1MARUM/Bremen Universität, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023