Volume 41 Issue 9
Aug.  2022
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Mingxu Wang, Chunhui Tao, Chao Lei, Hanchuang Wang, Ming Chen. Control of the stress field on shallow seafloor hydrothermal paths: A case study of the TAG hydrothermal field[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2022, 41(9): 117-126. doi: 10.1007/s13131-022-2003-7
Citation: Mingxu Wang, Chunhui Tao, Chao Lei, Hanchuang Wang, Ming Chen. Control of the stress field on shallow seafloor hydrothermal paths: A case study of the TAG hydrothermal field[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2022, 41(9): 117-126. doi: 10.1007/s13131-022-2003-7

Control of the stress field on shallow seafloor hydrothermal paths: A case study of the TAG hydrothermal field

doi: 10.1007/s13131-022-2003-7
Funds:  The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 42127807; the Key R&D Program of Zhejiang Province under contract No. 2021C03016; the National Key R&D Program of China under contract No. 2017YFC0208401; the Oceanic Interdisciplinary Program of Shanghai Jiao Tong University under contract Nos SL2020MS033, SL2020ZD205 and SL2104; the Scientific Research Fund of Second Institute of Oceanography under contract Nos SL2020MS033, SL2020ZD205 and SL2104; the Talent Cultivation Project of Zhejiang Association for Science and Technology under contract No. SKX201901.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: taochunhuimail@163.com
  • Received Date: 2021-02-01
  • Accepted Date: 2022-02-05
  • Available Online: 2022-06-07
  • Publish Date: 2022-08-31
  • The stress state and rock mechanical properties govern the growth of faults and fractures, which constitute shallow hydrothermal pathways and control the distribution of seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) mounds in the seafloor hydrothermal field. The stress field has an important influence on the formation and persistence of hydrothermal pathways. Based on multibeam bathymetric data from the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) field, we establish two three-dimensional geological models with different scales to simulate the stress field, which investigate the characteristics of hydrothermal pathways and associated SMS mounds. The simulation results show that oblique faults and fissures form in the tensile stress zone and that mounds, including active and inactive hydrothermal mounds form in the compressive stress zone. Fault activity, which is related to the stress field, affects the opening and closing of hydrothermal channels and changes the permeability structure of subseafloor wall rock. Therefore, the stress field controls the development and persistence of shallow hydrothermal pathways. The features of shallow hydrothermal pathways in the stress field can provide geomechanical information that is useful for identifying favorable zone for SMS deposit formation.
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