We report here results from a deep tow magnetic survey over Middle Valley, Juan de Fuca Ridge. A series of track lines are combined to generate a high-resolution map of the magnetic field anomaly within a 10 x 12 km region surrounding the Bent Hill massive sulfide (BHMS) deposit. A uniformly magnetized body (5 A/m) with a cross section approximating the body inferred from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) drilling can account for the observed near-bottom magnetic anomaly amplitude. Assuming this magnetization is entirely induced, the average susceptibility (0.11 SI) corresponds to similar to3.5% magnetite + pyrrhotite by volume, consistent with the abundance of these phases observed in drill core samples. However, this uniform magnetization model significantly underestimates the magnetic anomaly measured a few meters above the seafloor by submersible, indicating that the upper portion of the sulfide mound must have a significantly higher magnetization (similar to 10% magnetite + pyrrhotite) than at deeper levels. On a larger scale, the near-bottom magnetic anomaly data show that basement magnetizations are not uniformly near zero, as had been inferred from analysis of the sea surface anomaly pattern. We interpret this heterogeneity as reflecting primarily differences in the degree of hydrothermal alteration. Our results highlight the potential of magnetic anomaly data for characterizing hydrothermal deposits where extensive drill core sampling is not available.
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