Exploring hydrothermal systems in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge using high-resolution bathymetry.
The Journal of Maps has recently published a paper on technological developments, using high-resolution bathymetry to explore high-temperature sulphides mineralization in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). This Spanish-Portuguese cooperative work shows new findings in the geological interpretation and the deepest part of Moytirra hydrothermal field, the only one discovered in the northern MAR between the Azores Archipelago and the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone.
Based on the geological interpretation of the high-resolution bathymetry at 1:200,000 scale, the rugosity map at 1:50,000 scale and the detailed mapping of the distribution of active chimneys based on ROV observations at 1:2000 scale, we interpret that the Moytirra hydrothermal field is related to N-120° trending oblique slip-normal faults intersecting the steep flanks of the axial valley. We infer that these oblique faults are acting as tension gashes allowing fluids to circulate from the flanks of the former ridges to the AVR forming high-temperature fluid venting at the intersection with the flanks of the valley.
Deep-sea hydrothermal systems are potential targets for the exploitation of economically significant metals including Cu, Zn, Au, Ag or Li from sulphide chimneys and mounds. In addition, these environments represent very valuable geo-habitats for chemosynthetic fauna.
Open Access to the publication at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2021.1898485