Pressure-volume-temperature relations for water at the depth of the magma chamber at 21°N on the East Pacific Rise suggest that the maximum subsurface temperature of the geothermal fluid is about 420°C. Both the chemistry of the discharging fluid and thermal balance considerations indicate that the effective water/rock ratios in the geothermal system are between 7 and 16. Such low ratios preclude effective metal transport at temperatures below 350°C, but metal solubilization at 400°C and above is effective even at such low ratios. It is proposed that the 420°C fluid ascends essentially adiabatically and in the process expands, cools, and precipitates metal sulfides within the upper few hundred meters of the sea floor and on the sea floor itself.
|Title||Geothermal system at 21°N, East Pacific Rise: physical limits on geothermal fluid and role of adiabatic expansion|
|Authors||J. L. Bischoff|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|