National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2002

Intra-oceanic subduction-related hydrothermal venting, Kermadec volcanic arc, New Zealand

de Ronde, C.E.J., E.T. Baker, G.J. Massoth, J.E. Lupton, I.C. Wright, R.A. Feely, and R.R. Greene

Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 193(3–4), 359–369, doi: 10.1016/S0012-821X(01)00534-9 (2001)

Intra-oceanic volcanic arcs mark the boundaries between converging lithospheric plates where subduction produces volcanic and tectonic activity that ensures a steady supply of magmatic heat and hydrothermal fluids to the seafloor. Here we report on the first broad and systematic survey of hydrothermal emissions generated along a submarine arc front. More than half (seven of 13) of the volcanoes surveyed along 260 km of the southern Kermadec arc, NE of New Zealand, are hydrothermally active. Our results indicate that volcanic arcs represent a previously unheeded but potentially extensive source of shallow (<2 km water depth) vent fields expelling fluids of a unique and heterogeneous composition into the oceans.

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