Geochemical and isotopic studies of pore fluids and solid phases recovered from the Dead Dog and Bent Hill hydrothermal sites in Middle Valley (Ocean Drilling Program Leg 169) have been compared with similar data obtained previously from these sites during Ocean Drilling Program Leg 139. Although generally the hydrothermal systems reflect non-steady state conditions, the data allow an assessment of the history of the hydrothermal processes. Sediment K/A1 ratios as well as the distribution of anhydrite in the sediments suggest that the Dead Dog hydrothermal field has been, and still is, active. In contrast, similar data in the Bent Hill hydrothermal field indicate a waning of hydrothermal activity. Pore fluid and hydrothermal vent data in the Dead Dog hydrothermal field are similar in nature to the data collected during ODP Leg 139. In the area of the Bent Hill sulfide deposit, however, the pore water data indicate that recent wholesale flushing of the sediment column with relatively unaltered seawater has obliterated a previous record of hydrothermal activity in the pore fluids. Data from the deepest part of Hole 1035A in the Bent Hill locality show the presence of hydrothermal fluids at greater depths in this area. This suggests the origin of the hydrothermal fluids found to be emanating from Hole 1035F, which constitutes one of the first man made hydrothermal vents in the Middle Valley hydrothermal system. Similarly, CORKed Hole 858G, because of seal failures, has acted as a hydrothermal vent, with sulfide deposits forming inside the CORK. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.