Over the past several decades, quantifying the heat output has been a unanimous focus of studies at hydrothermal vent fields discovered around the global ocean. Despite their importance, direct measurements of hydrothermal heat flux are very limited due to the remoteness of most vent sites and the complexity of hydrothermal venting. Moreover, almost all the heat flux measurements made to date are snapshots and provide little information on the temporal variation that is expected from the dynamic nature of a hydrothermal system. <br />The Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar (COVIS, https://sites.google.com/a/uw.edu/covis/) is currently connected to the Endeavour node of the NEPTUNE Canada observatory network (http://www.neptunecanada.ca) to monitor the hydrothermal plumes issuing from a vent cluster (Grotto) on the Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. COVIS is acquiring a long-term (20-months to date) time series of the vertical flow rate and volume flux of the hydrothermal plume above Grotto through the Doppler analysis of the acoustic backscatter data (Xu et al., 2013). We then estimate the plume heat flux from vertical flow rate and volume flux using our newly developed inverse method. In this presentation, we will briefly summarize the derivation of the inverse method and present the heat-flux time series obtained consequently with uncertainty quantification. In addition, we compare our heat-flux estimates with the one estimated from the plume in-situ temperatures measured using a Remotely Operative Vehicle (ROV) in 2012. Such comparison sheds light on the uncertainty of our heat flux estimation.
Xu, G., Jackson, D. R., Bemis, K. G., & Rona, P. A. (2013). Heat flux measured acoustically at Grotto Vent, a hydrothermal vent cluster on the Endeavour Segment, Juan de Fuca Ridge. In American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2013. San Francisco: American Geophysical Union.