Marine Geophysical Researches

, Volume 24, Issue 3–4, pp 345–357 | Cite as

Heat flux estimate of warm water flow in a low-temperature diffuse flow site, southern East Pacific Rise 17°25′ S

  • Shusaku Goto
  • Masataka Kinoshita
  • Kyohiko Mitsuzawa


A low-temperature diffuse flow site associated with abundant vent fauna was found by submersible observations on the southern East Pacific Rise at 17°25′ S in 1997. This site was characterized by thin sediment covered pillow and sheet lavas with collapsed pits up to ∼15 m in diameter. There were three warm water vents (temperature: 6.5 to 10.5 °C) within the site above which the vented fluids rise as plumes. To estimate heat flux of the warm water vents, a temperature logger array was deployed and the vertical temperature distribution in the water column up to 38 m above the seafloor was monitored. A stationary deep seafloor observatory system was also deployed to monitor hydrothermal activity in this site. The temperature logger array measured temperature anomalies, while the plumes from the vents passed through the array. Because the temperature anomalies were measured in only specific current directions, we identified one of the vents as the source. Heat flux from the vent was estimated by applying a plume model in crossflow in a density-stratified environment. The average heat flux from September 13 to October 18, 1997 was 39 MW. This heat flux is as same order as those of high-temperature black smokers, indicating that a large volume flux was discharged from the vent (1.9 m3/s). Previous observations found many similar warm water flow vents along the spreading axis between 17°20′ S–30′ S. The total heat flux was estimated to be at least a few hundred mega-watts. This venting style would contribute to form effluent hydrothermal plumes extended above the spreading axis.


heat flux hydrothermal plume long-term monitoring southern East Pacific Rise warm water flow 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shusaku Goto
    • 1
  • Masataka Kinoshita
    • 2
  • Kyohiko Mitsuzawa
    • 3
  1. 1.Aso Volcanological Laboratory, Institute for Geothermal SciencesKyoto UniversityKumamotoJapan
  2. 2.Program for Deep Sea ResearchJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokosukaJapan
  3. 3.Marine Technology Research and Development Program, Marine Technology CenterJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokosukaJapan

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