Depth profiles of resistivity and spectral IP for active modern submarine hydrothermal deposits: A case study from the Iheya North Knoll and the Iheya Minor Ridge in Okinawa Trough, Japan 1. Geomagnetism

Shogo Komori, Yuka Masaki, Wataru Tanikawa, Junji Torimoto, Yusuke Ohta, Masato Makio, Lena Maeda, Jun Ichiro Ishibashi, Tatsuo Nozaki, Osamu Tadai, Hidenori Kumagai

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Abstract

Submarine hydrothermal deposits are one of the promising seafloor mineral resources, because they can store a large amount of metallic minerals as sulfides. The present study focuses on the electrical properties of active modern submarine hydrothermal deposits, in order to provide constraints on the interpretation of electrical structures obtained from marine electromagnetic surveys. Measurements of resistivity and spectral induced polarization (IP) were made using drillcore samples taken from the Iheya North Knoll and the Iheya Minor Ridge in Okinawa Trough, Japan. These hydrothermal sediments are dominantly composed of disseminated sulfides, with minor amounts of massive sulfide rocks. The depth profiles of resistivity and spectral IP properties were successfully revealed to correspond well to layer-by-layer lithological features. Comparison with other physical properties and occurrence of constituent minerals showed that resistivity is essentially sensitive to the connectivity of interstitial fluids, rather than by sulfide and clay content. This suggests that, in active modern submarine hydrothermal systems, not only typical massive sulfide rocks but also high-temperature hydrothermal fluids could be imaged as low-resistivity anomalies in seabed surveys. The spectral IP signature was shown to be sensitive to the presence or absence of sulfide minerals, and total chargeability is positively correlated with sulfide mineral abundance. In addition, the massive sulfide rock exhibits the distinctive IP feature that the phase steadily increases with a decrease of frequency. These results show the effective usage of IP for developing and improving marine IP exploration techniques.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
Journalearth, planets and space
Volume69
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Space and Planetary Science

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