Distribution and behavior of dissolved hydrogen sulfide in hydrothermal plumes

Radford-Knœry, Joël, C. R. German, J. -L. Charlou, J. -P. Donval, Y. Fouquet

Limnol. Oceanogr., 46(2), 2001, 461-464 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2001.46.2.0461

ABSTRACT: Through the deep ocean, hydrothermal plumes disperse high concentrations of key chemical tracers including He-3, CH4, Mn, Fe, H2S, etc. This paper focuses on the distribution and behavior of total dissolved sulfide (sulfide hereafter) in hydrothermal plumes to show that its plume concentration decreases to subnanomolar a few kilometers from the vents. We also report on sulfide removal rates determined at in situ conditions; we observe that they are two orders of magnitude greater than for open ocean seawater, consistent with sulfide being detected only in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents. From our observations, we infer that the sole presence of sulfide in hydrothermal plumes locates active venting at the kilometer scale.

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