A self-potential investigation of submarine massive sulfides: Palinuro Seamount, Tyrrhenian Sea.

Safipour, Roxana, Hölz, Sebastian, Halbach, Jesse, Jegen, Marion, Petersen, Sven and Swidinsky, Andrei (2017) A self-potential investigation of submarine massive sulfides: Palinuro Seamount, Tyrrhenian Sea. Open Access Geophysics, 82 (6). A51-A56. DOI 10.1190/geo2017-0237.1.

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Abstract

The self-potential (SP) method detects naturally occurring electric fields which may be produced by electrically conductive mineral deposits such as massive sulfides. Recently, there has been increasing interest in applying this method in a marine environment to explore for seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits which may contain economic resources of base and precious metals. While SMS sites that are associated with active venting and are not buried under sediment cover are known to produce an SP signal, the effectiveness of the method at detecting inactive and sediment-covered deposits remained an outstanding question. We built an instrument capable of recording SP data in a marine setting. We carried out a test of the instrument at the Palinuro Seamount in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Palinuro is one of only a few known sites containing an SMS occurrence which is buried under sediment and not associated with active hydrothermal venting, although diffuse seepage of hydrothermal fluids is known to occur at the site. Elevated electric field strengths recorded in and near the site of previously drilled massive sulfide samples are on the order of 1–3 mV/m. A second zone of high field strengths was detected by us to the north of the drilling area where gravity coring later confirmed the existence of massive sulfides. Our observations indicate that an SP signal can be observed at the site of SMS mineralization even when the mineralized zone is shallowly buried and active hydrothermal venting is not present. These observations could aid in the planning of future marine research expeditions which use the SP method in the exploration of seafloor massive sulfides.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/604500
Keywords: marine, seafloor, mining, electrical/resistivity
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems > Marine Mineralische Rohstoffe
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1190/geo2017-0237.1
ISSN: 0016-8033
Related URLs:
Projects: Blue Mining
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2017 09:06
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2019 15:43
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/39377

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