Deep submarine infiltration of altered geothermal groundwater on the south Chilean Margin


Vincent J. Clementi, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Yair Rosenthal, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Samantha C. Bova, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Elizabeth K. Thomas, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
James D. Wright, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Richard A. Mortlock, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Owen C. Cowling, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Linda V. Godfrey, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Laurel B. Childress, Texas A&M University
Ivano W. Aiello, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Alejandro Avila, Universidad de Concepcion
William Biggs, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Christopher D. Charles, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Anson H. Cheung, Brown University
Kimberly deLong, University of California, Santa Cruz
Isabel A. Dove, University of Rhode Island
Xiaojing Du, Brown University
Emily R. Estes, Texas A&M University
Ursula Fuentes, Chilean Navy
Cristina García-Lasanta, Western Washington University
Steven L. Goldstein, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Anna Golub, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Julia Rieke Hagemann, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Robert G. Hatfield, University of Florida
Laura L. Haynes, Vassar College
Anya V. Hess, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Nil Irvali, Universitetet i Bergen
Yael Kiro, Weizmann Institute of Science Israel
Minda M. Monteagudo, Georgia Institute of Technology
Jonathan E. Lambert, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Chen Li, State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology
William M. Longo, Macalester College
Sarah McGrath, Brown University
Hailey Riechelson, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Rebecca S. Robinson, University of Rhode Island
John Sarao, Texas A&M University

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Submarine groundwater discharge is increasingly recognized as an important component of the oceanic geochemical budget, but knowledge of the distribution of this phenomenon is limited. To date, reports of meteoric inputs to marine sediments are typically limited to shallow shelf and coastal environments, whereas contributions of freshwater along deeper sections of tectonically active margins have generally been attributed to silicate diagenesis, mineral dehydration, or methane hydrate dissociation. Here, using geochemical fingerprinting of pore water data from Site J1003 recovered from the Chilean Margin during D/V JOIDES Resolution Expedition 379 T, we show that substantial offshore freshening reflects deep and focused contributions of meteorically modified geothermal groundwater, which is likely sourced from a reservoir ~2.8 km deep in the Aysén region of Patagonia and infiltrated marine sediments during or shortly after the last glacial period. Emplacement of fossil groundwaters reflects an apparently ubiquitous phenomenon in margin sediments globally, but our results now identify an unappreciated locus of deep submarine groundwater discharge along active margins with potential implications for coastal biogeochemical processes and tectonic instability.

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Communications Earth and Environment