Passive, off-axis convection through the southern flank of the Costa Rica Rift

A. T. Fisher, K. Becker, T. N. Narasimhan, M. G. Langseth, M. J. Mottl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Pore fluids are passively convecting through young oceanic sediments and crust around Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) site 504 on the southern flank of the Costa Rica Rift, as inferred from a variety of geological, geochemical, and geothermal observations. The presence of a fluid circulation system is supported by new data collected on Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 111 and a predrilling survey cruise over the heavily sedimented, 5.9 Ma site. Deep crustal convection had been inferred near site 504 based on the geometry of surface heat flow anomalies with a wavelength of 4-7 km but appears to be precluded by low crustal permeability, as measured in DSDP hole 504B. The widely varied geothermal and hydrogeological observations near site 504 are readily explained by a model which combines 1) basement relief, 2) irregular sediment drape, 3) largely conductive heat transfer through the sediments overlying the crust, and 4) thermal and geochemical homogenization of pore fluids at the sediment/basement interface, which results from 5) topographically induced, passive hydrothermal circulation with large aspect ratio, convection cells. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9343-9370
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Passive, off-axis convection through the southern flank of the Costa Rica Rift'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this