In situ geological and geochemical study of an active hydrothermal site on the North Fiji Basin ridge

Jean Marie Auzende, Tetsuro Urabe, Valérie Bendel, Christine Deplus, Jean Philippe Eissen, Daniel Grimaud, Philippe Huchon, Junishiro Ishibashi, Masato Joshima, Yves Lagabrielle, Catherine Mével, Jiro Naka, Etienne Ruellan, Takeo Tanaka, Manabu Tanahashi

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13 Citations (Scopus)


In June 1989 a diving cruise by the submersible Nautile was carried out on the North Fiji Basin spreading ridge. The objective of the cruise was a geological and geochemical study of the active spreading axis and associated hydrothermal processes. This operation was the third cruise of the French-Japanese Starmer project following the two cruises of the R.V. Kaiyo in 1987 and 1988. Six dives along the spreading axis between 16°58′S and 17°00S show that the axial graben consists of alternating N15-trending horsts and grabens. Extinct hydrothermal sites have been observed all along the graben. These consist of fossil chimneys, oxide staining and dead shells. At 16°59′S an active chimney has been discovered and called the "White Lady" because of its almost exclusively anhydrite composition. This chimney expels a peculiar water characterized by low chlorinity and a 285°C maximum temperature. In the northern extremity of the N15 axis a wide fossil hydrothermal site has been explored and sampled. It is located in an area cut by N15, N140 and N60-trending faults and fissures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Geology
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1991
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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