Internal Structure of a Seafloor Massive Sulfide Deposit by Electrical Resistivity Tomography, Okinawa Trough

K. Ishizu, T. Goto, Y. Ohta, T. Kasaya, H. Iwamoto, C. Vachiratienchai, W. Siripunvaraporn, T. Tsuji, H. Kumagai, K. Koike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits are crucially important metal resources that contain high-grade metals such as copper, lead, and zinc, their internal structures and generation mechanisms remain unclear. This study obtained detailed near-seafloor images of electrical resistivity in a hydrothermal field off Okinawa, southwestern Japan, using deep-towed marine electrical resistivity tomography. The image clarified a semi-layered resistivity structure, interpreted as SMS deposits exposed on the seafloor, and another deep-seated SMS layer at about 40-m depth below the seafloor. The images reinforce our inference of a new mechanism of SMS evolution: Upwelling hydrothermal fluid is trapped under less-permeable cap rock. The deeper embedded SMS accumulates there. Then hydrothermal fluids expelled on the seafloor form exposed SMS deposits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11025-11034
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 28 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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