Quantification of Permeability-Porosity Relationships in Seafloor Vent Deposits: Dependence on Pore Evolution Processes
Gribbin, Jill Leann
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Hydrothermal mineral deposits formed along seafloor spreading centers help regulate the transfer of heat and mass from Earth's interior to the oceans. Aqueous fluids circulate within the seafloor and are emitted through vent deposits, formed from interaction between vent fluids and seawater. These deposits evolve as they react physically and chemically with venting fluids and seawater, therefore changing transport properties, such as permeability and porosity. In this study, measurements of permeability and porosity were used in conjunction with microstructural observations to identify evolution of permeability-porosity relationships (EPPRs) for vent deposits. EPPRs are power-law relationships relating permeability and porosity through an exponent, alpha, which is sensitive to changes in these properties. These relationships are important for understanding pore evolution processes and fluid distribution, in addition to their effects on environmental conditions within vent deposits.