Observations and Modeling of a Hydrothermal Plume in Yellowstone Lake
©2019. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Acoustic Doppler current profiler and conductivity-temperature-depth data acquired in Yellowstone Lake reveal the presence of a buoyant plume above the “Deep Hole” hydrothermal system, located southeast of Stevenson Island. Distributed venting in the ~200 × 200-m hydrothermal field creates a plume with vertical velocities of ~10 cm/s in the mid-water column. Salinity profiles indicate that during the period of strong summer stratification the plume rises to a neutral buoyancy horizon at ~45-m depth, corresponding to a ~70-m rise height, where it generates an anomaly of ~5% (−0.0014 psu) relative to background lake water. We simulate the plume with a numerical model and find that a heat flux of 28 MW reproduces the salinity and vertical velocity observations, corresponding to a mass flux of 1.4 × 103 kg/s. When observational uncertainties are considered, the heat flux could range between 20 to 50 MW.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Geophysical Research Letters
Sohn, R., Luttrell, K., Shroyer, E., Stranne, C., Harris, R., & Favorito, J. (2019). Observations and Modeling of a Hydrothermal Plume in Yellowstone Lake. Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (12), 6435-6442. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL082523