Hydrothermal regime and constraints on reservoir depth of the Jade site in the Mid-Okinawa Trough inferred from heat flow measurements

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Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth
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Feb 10
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Detailed heat flow measurements revealed an enormous heat flow variation (10(2) to 10(5) mW m(-2)) in the Jade hydrothermal field (27 degrees 16'N, 127 degrees 05'E and water depth 1350 m) located on the slope of the Izena Hole in the Mid-Okinawa Trough. Within the Jade site, heat flow is higher than 1000 mW m(-2) and decreases to similar to 100 mW m(-2) with a 1 km horizontal scale. Near the Jade black smoker, heat flow varies from >30,000 mW m(-2) at a hydrothermally altered area to 1700 mW m(-2) less than 100 m from it. A large-scale heat flow variation suggests that the base of the escarpment near the Jade site serves as a recharge area for the Jade site. Linear geotherms indicate that the upward Darcian flow within sediments is slower than similar to 3 cm yr(-1). Thus the fluid circulation pathways would basically be restricted in permeable channels. Estimated conductive heat output rate from the Jade site is 4 - 7 MW, which is comparable to heat output by a single black smoker vent (similar to 8 MW). One-dimensional thermal modeling predicts the existence of a boiling zone at similar to 200 m beneath the Jade site, which may be overlain by a fractured impermeable layer. The normal chloride content of venting fluids from the black smoker may be explained either by upwelling of fluid which boiled at shallow depth but suffered no phase segregation, or by upwelling of fluid above the boiling interface.


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