National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1998

Tracking the evolution of a hydrothermal event plume with a RAFOS neutrally buoyant drifter

Lupton, J.E., E.T. Baker, N. Garfield, G.J. Massoth, R.A. Feely, J.P. Cowen, R. Greene, and T. Rago

Science, 280(5366), 1052–1055, doi: 10.1126/science.280.5366.1052 (1998)

The migration and evolution of a deep ocean hydrothermal event plume were tracked with a neutrally buoyant RAFOS float. The float remained entrained in the plume for 60 days, and the plume vorticity was calculated directly from the anticyclonic motion of the float. Concentrations of suspended particles, particulate iron, and dissolved manganese in the plume did not decay significantly during the 60 days, which indicates that event plumes would be easily detectable a year after formation.

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