Hydrothermal Fluid Chemistry in Back Arc Basins

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2006

Project Description/Abstract

Hot springs emanate from the seafloor along the global mid-ocean ridge system and in an environment called the back-arc basin. The chemistry of these fluids in the back-arc environment is virtually unknown. In general, hot springs on the seafloor cause a massive amount of chemical exchange between seawater and rocks below the seafloor. Thus, they exert a critical control on the chemistry of seawater and perhaps the development of major metal deposits such as copper and gold on the seafloor. To assess the role that hot springs in the back-arc environment play in these global processes requires that the chemistry of these fluids be known. Thus, the objective of this project is to measure the chemistry of hot spring fluids from a back-arc basin in the western Pacific Ocean. From these measurements, the origin and global significance of these hot springs will be determined.

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