Long term measurements of fluid chemistry are critical to understanding hydrothermal and methane seep environments. Fluid chemistry impacts and is impacted by reactions in hydrothermal chimneys, in seep sediments, and by the associated biota that thrive inside and outside of the active black smokers, in the subseafloor, and at sites where methane is seeping from the seafloor in margin environments.
To meet this need, the Regional Cabled Array uses uncabled osmotic samplers that draw in hydrothermal fluids and methane seep-derived fluids into small capillary-like tubing for periods of one year. These instruments, now installed in a diffuse flow site coupled to the 3D thermistor array near the Mushroom black smoker chimney and near Einsteins’ Grotto at Southern Hydrate Ridge, are recovered annually by the remotely operated vehicle. Onboard, small ~ 1 m length sections of the capillary tubing are cut and the fluids removed for shore-based chemical analyses to examine the temporal evolution of fluids at the two sites. These data provide insights into the impact of seismic events on fluid flow in these environments.
The laboratory processed analytical data and metadata from the fluid samples can be found in the OOI Core Instrument Analytical Results data repository.