Three distinct types of solid material are associated with each sample of the hydrothermal fluid that was collected from the vents of the Southern Juan de Fuca Ridge. The solid materials appear to be representative of deposits on ocean floors near mid-ocean ridges, and interpretation of the chemistry of the hydrothermal solutions requires understanding of them. Sr isotopic evidence indicates that at least two and probably all three of these solid materials were removed from the solution with which they are associated, by precipitation or adsorption. This occurred after the "pure" hydrothermal fluid was diluted and thoroughly mixed with ambient seawater. The three types of solid materials, are, respectively, a coarse Zn- and Fe-rich material with small amounts of Na and Ca; a finer material also rich in Zn and Fe, but with alkali and alkaline-earth metals; and a scum composed of Ba or Zn, with either considerable Fe or Si, and Sr. Mineral identification is uncertain because of uncertain anion composition. Only in the cases of Ba and Zn were metal masses greater in solid materials than in the associated fluids. For all other metals measured, masses in fluids dwarf those in solids. The fluids themselves contain greater concentrations of all metals measured, except Mg, than seawater. We discuss in detail the relative merits of two methods of determining the mixing proportions of "pure" hydrothermal solution and seawater in the fluids, one based on Sr isotopes, and another previously used method based on Mg concentrations. Comparison of solute concentrations in the several samples shows that degree of dilution of "pure" hydrothermal solutions by seawater, and amounts of original solutes that were removed from it as solid materials, are not related. There is no clear evidence that appreciable amounts of solid materials were not conserved (lost) either during or prior to sample collection. ?? 1988.
Additional publication details
Major- and minor-metal composition of three distinct solid material fractions associated with Juan de Fuca hydrothermal fluids (northeast Pacific), and calculation of dilution fluid samples