Supplement to: Williams, David L; Green, K; van Andel, Tjeerd H; von Herzen, Richard P; Dymond, Jack R; Crane, Kathleen (1979): The hydrothermal mounds of the Galapagos Rift: Observations with DSRV Alvin and detailed heat flow studies. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 84(B13), 7467-7484, https://doi.org/10.1029/JB084iB13p07467
Ranging in height from gentle hills of less than a meter to steep-sided giants of more than 20 m, the mounds of the Galapagos Rift are spectacular hydrothermal features. Their internal temperatures have been measured at up to 13°C above the bottom water temperature, and total heat flow (conducted plus convected) can be several hundred to several thousand times the normal oceanic values. Fluids, when they discharge from the mound, do so at a very slow rate and at temperatures probably quite near the bottom water temperature. The mounds are principally composed of iron silicates intermixed and incrusted with lesser amounts of manganese oxides. They are generally found in rows, in a uniformly sedimented area above faults or fractures in the crustal rocks which permit fluids to escape from a deep hydrothermal aquifer. The sediment blanket in some way alters the chemistry of the ascending thermal fluids and leads to the development of mounds. The mounds field, covering an area of at least 200 km2 and consisting of thousands of individual mounds, is probably less than 300,000 years old; and many of the mounds may be only a few tens of thousands of years old or less.
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