Elevated turbidity and dissolved manganese in deep water column near 10°47’S Central Indian Ridge: studies on hydrothermal activities

Abstract

The deep water in the ridge segment between 10°18’S and 10°57’S of northern Central Indian Ridge was surveyed with CTD and AUV for seafloor hydrothermal activities. During the survey, 25 CTD hydrocasts were made, and seawater samples were collected for analyses of chemical tracers like dissolved manganese (DMn). In the rift valley between 10°40’S and 10°57’S, consistent backscatter anomalies (up to 0.013 ΔNTU) were found in deep water, indicating excess of suspended particulate at the depth between 3050 and 3500 m. The seawater samples from this turbid layer was characterized with high concentration of dissolved manganese (maximum DMn = 39 nmol/L) and excess helium-3 (maximum δ3He = 17.1%) and thus confirmed the possible hydrothermal activities in that area. The distribution of turbidity and DMn in deep water apparently suggests that there could be active vent(s) located close to the eastern wall (10°47.5’S; 66°38.6’E) of the valley, near southern end of the ridge segment. The physiochemical characters of the plume suggest the source fluid might have originated from reactions involving both mafic and ultramafic rocks, and its nature is comparable to other plumes in the Indian Ocean.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Director, CSIR-NIO for allowing this manuscript to publish. The present study was funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India. Thanks to the captain and crew members of ORV Sagar Nidhi-48 cruise for their support. Authors are thankful to the ABYSS, GEOMAR team led by Dr. Nico Augustin for their support and to Dr. Colin Devey, GEOMAR for coordinating the AUV hiring process. Thanks to Dr. John E. Lupton, NOAA-PMEL, for the helium isotope analysis, and to Dr. Edward T. Baker, NOAA for providing MAPRs. Mr. A. S. Rao is grateful to the InterRidge for providing fellowship to work under guidance of Dr. Maren Walter, Bremen University. Thanks to the editor and anonymous reviewer for providing constructive comments on the manuscript. This is CSIRNIO contribution number 6535.

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Ray, D., KameshRaju, K.A., Srinivas Rao, A. et al. Elevated turbidity and dissolved manganese in deep water column near 10°47’S Central Indian Ridge: studies on hydrothermal activities. Geo-Mar Lett 40, 619–628 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00367-020-00657-5

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Keywords

  • Central Indian Ridge
  • Hydrothermal plume
  • Manganese
  • Helium
  • Backscatter anomaly