Temporal and spatial variability in the Endeavour Ridge neutrally buoyant hydrothermal plume : patterns, forcing mechanisms and biogeochemical implications Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2801pj58x

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  • Time series records of horizontal current velocity, temperature, light attenuation and settling particle flux obtained using moored instruments above Endeavour Ridge in the northeast Pacific Ocean elucidate the dynamics of a deep-sea, neutrally buoyant, hydrothermal plume. Data collected in four mooring deployments over three years within 20 km of an active hydrothermal vent field quantify heretofore suspected temporal and spatial variability in the plume, and provide evidence of causality. Over time scales of hours to days, local fluctuations in temperature and suspended particle concentration primarily reflect horizontal transport of hydrothermal effluent by currents. However, it is dramatic variability in lateral transport of hydrothermal material over longer time scales (months to years) which profoundly influences the spatial distribution of settling particle flux. Steering of the hydrothermal plume by horizontal currents, in concert with seasonal effects linked to production of biogenic particulate material in the upper ocean, together explain the predominant temporal patterns in settling hydrothermal particle flux measured within and beneath the plume. Spatial variability in plume-guiding currents is also pronounced; horizontal flow is nonuniform over distances of ~ 10 km horizontally and hundreds of meters vertically.
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