Quantitative visualization of acoustic images is used to compare the properties and behavior of high temperature hydrothermal plumes at two sites with different source configurations, increasing our understanding of how plume behavior reflects source configuration. Acoustic imaging experiments were conducted at the Clam Acres area of the Southwest Vent Field, 21°N East Pacific Rise and at Monolith Vent, North Cleft segment, Juan de Fuca Ridge. At Clam Acres, black smokers discharge from two adjacent chimneys which act as point sources, whereas multiple vents at Monolith Vent define a distributed elliptical source. Both plumes exhibit consistent dilution patterns, reasonable fits to the expected power law increase in centerline dilution with height, and simple bending of plume centerlines in response to ambient currents. Our data suggest that point source vents are associated with ordered plume structure, normal entrainment rates, and initial expansion of isosurfaces while distributed source vents are associated with disorganized plume structure, variable entrainment rates, and initial contraction of isosurfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology