Coupled magmatic and tectonic activity plays an important role in high-temperature hydrothermal circulation at mid-ocean ridges. The circulation patterns for such systems have been elucidated by microearthquakes and geochemical data over a broad spectrum of spreading rates, but such data have not been generally available for ultra-slow spreading ridges. Here we report new geophysical and fluid geochemical data for high-temperature active hydrothermal venting at Dragon Horn area (49.7°E) on the Southwest Indian Ridge. Twin detachment faults penetrating to the depth of 13 ± 2 km below the seafloor were identified based on the microearthquakes. The geochemical composition of the hydrothermal fluids suggests a long reaction path involving both mafic and ultramafic lithologies. Combined with numerical simulations, our results demonstrate that these hydrothermal fluids could circulate ~ 6 km deeper than the Moho boundary and to much greater depths than those at Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse and Logachev-1 hydrothermal fields on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
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