Discovery of hydrothermal vent fields on Alarcón Rise and in southern Pescadero Basin, Gulf of CaliforniaRevista : Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación
Hydrothermal vent fields located in the gap between known sites in Guaymas Basin and 21°N on the East Pacific Rise were discovered on the Alarcón Rise and in southern Pescadero Basin. The Alarcón Rise spreading segment was mapped at 1‐m resolution by an autonomous underwater vehicle. Individual chimneys were identified using the bathymetric data. Vent fields were interpreted as active from temperature anomalies in water column data and observed and sampled during remotely operated vehicle dives. The Ja Sít, Pericú, and Meyibó active fields are near the eruptive fissure of an extensive young lava flow. Vent fluids up to 360 °C from Meyibó have compositions similar to northern East Pacific Rise vents. The Tzab‐ek field is 850 m west of the volcanic axis, and active chimneys rise up to 33 m above a broad sulfide mound. The inactive field is 10 km north‐northeast along the rift axis, and most sulfide chimneys are enriched in Zn and associated elements that are transported at lower temperature compared to the more Cu‐rich active fields. In southern Pescadero Basin, the Auka field is on the margin of a sediment‐filled graben at 3,670‐m depth. Discharging fluids are clear, contain hydrocarbons, and have neutral pH, elevated salinity, and temperatures up to 291 °C. They have deposited massive mounds of calcite with minor sulfide. The fluids are compositionally similar to those in Guaymas Basin, produced by high‐temperature basalt‐seawater interaction followed by reaction with sediment. The paucity of sulfide minerals suggests subsurface deposition of metals.