Marine Thermal Geophysics

OSCAR – Oceanographic and Seismic Characterisation of heat dissipation and alteration by hydrothermal fluids at an Axial Ridge

Over arching goal: Trends of the seafloor heat flow in the Panama Basin and how this heat increases the temperature of the oceanic deep bottom water thereby affecting ocean circulation.

My Focus: How does the hydrothermal heat transfer into the ocean? What are the phenomena governing these flow patterns? How does this flow transition as we move from a young poorly sedimented crust to an older heavily sedimented sea floor? To answer these questions I am analysing the newly measured conductive heat flow data from different sediment ponds in the Panama Basin – ponds located in the southern ridge flank of the Costa Rica Rift and also in the inactive portion of the Ecuador Fracture Zone. This analysis involves integrating multiple data sets such as bathymetry data, seismic data, magneto-telluric data etc.,

Collaborators: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA; Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA; Durham University, Durham UK

Terrestrial Thermal Geophysics

Enhanced Geothermal Systems

A numerical modeling investigation of THMC processes, porosity, and permeability alteration for Enhanced Geothermal Reservoirs

Goal: To interrogate porosity-permeability feedbacks in Enhanced Geothermal Systems arising in response to Thermal Hydrological Mechanical and Chemical processes, including poroelastic deformation, shear dilation, tensile failure, and chemically mediated permeability destruction or enhancement.

Collaborators: Magma-hydrothermal processes group and Computational Geofluids group, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Hydrothemal Systems

High-Temperature Hydrothermal Vents

Numerical modeling of the hydrothermal system at East Pacific Rise 9°50¢ N including anhydrite precipitation

To better understand the effects of anhydrite precipitation on mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems, we conducted 2-D numerical simulations of two-phase hydrothermal circulation in a NaCl-H2O fluid with conditions representative of the East Pacific Rise 9°50’N. The results showed that sealing would occur most rapidly in limited regions near the base of the high-temperature plumes and more slowly at the margins of the ascending plumes

Collaborators: Magma-hydrothermal processes group, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA