Seafloor hydrothermal vents, also known as black chimneys (featured image; Copyright: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), produce valuable mineral resources through fluid-rock reactions beneath the seafloor – a process called hydrothermal alteration. On basaltic ocean crust, hydrothermally-altered regions are generally found to be less magnetic, which provides a way to detect seafloor hydrothermal vents. By collaborating with Prof. Chunhui Tao group from the Second Institute of Oceanography, we analyzed a large set of rock samples recovered from the Southwest Indian Ridge. Results were recently published in Geophysical Research Letters (Wang et al., 2020; https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL087578) that discloses the detailed alteration pathway in hydrothermal vent hosting mid-ocean ridge.
Dr. Liao Chang is an Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator at the School of Earth and Space Sciences at Peking University. He is heading an active group of several post-docs and students, addressing a wide range of problems in rock and mineral magnetism, environmental magnetism, remanence acquisition, and marine geology and geophysics.