2014 Volume 48 Issue 4 Pages 357-369
Two active hydrothermal fields, Jade and Hakurei fields have been discovered within the Izena Hole, a rectangular 6 km × 3 km shape depression located in the middle Okinawa Trough back arc basin. In both fields, intense hydrothermal activity is represented by venting of high-temperature fluid (>300°C) and occurrence of sulfide/sulfate ore deposits. We collected hydrothermal fluids during dive expeditions of ROV Hyper Dolphin conducted in 2003, 2010 and 2011, in order to analyze both elemental and gas species. The geochemistry of high temperature hydrothermal fluids collected from the Jade and Hakurei fields is very similar to each other with exceptions in minor gas composition. Little temporal variation was observed in geochemistry of the high-temperature hydrothermal fluid of the Jade field over two decades, since a previous study carried out in 1989. These results suggest that these fluids are derived from a common fluid reservoir where fluid chemistry is basically controlled by fluid-mineral equilibria and gas species are dominantly contributed from the same magma. Venting of low temperature fluid (about 104°C) was discovered in the distal part of the Jade field, which was named as the Biwako vent. Chemical composition of the Biwako vent fluid was distinctive from that of the high temperature fluid in the proximal part of the Jade field, and could not be explained by simple dilution or cooling. This intra-field chemical diversity could be caused by phase separation and segregation during fluid upwelling, based on relationships in concentrations of Cl and major cations. On the other hand, the chemical diversity recognized in minor gas composition between the Jade and Hakurei fields is in accordance with results from previous plume survey. Difference in concentrations of minor gases such as H2 is attributed to contribution from thermal degradation of organic matter in the sediment, during fluid upwelling.