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Calypso Vent field, Bay of Plenty Region (Te Moana-a-Toi), North Island, New Zealand

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 37° 40' South , 177° 7' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -37.66667,177.11667
GeoHash:G#: rcmcwqurv


Located some 20kms to 100kms off the coast in the Bay of Plenty.

Hydrothermal activity at the vent sites is controlled by minor, sub-parallel NE-trending normal faults. Gas bubble trails (C02) and shimmering hot water vent from fractures and joints between large blocks of silicified volcaniclastics and in depressions in the sediments at the base of these outcrops. Measured maximum vent temperatures are between 180C and 201C. Venting fluids are at, or just below, boiling for water depths of 200 m.

Named after Jacque Cousteau's ship, the research team discovering the first vent in 1971. The vents are 10 kilometres south-west of White Island, in 180-200 metres of water in the Bay of Plenty. There are four vent fields covering 50 km2- called North, Central, South-East, and South-West fields.

The vents are centimetre scale holes on a sandy sea floor, along fractures in the underlying laminated volcaniclastic rocks. The vents have haloes of native sulphur and filamentous bacteria. The geothermal field is part of the regional Whakatane Graben, in the northern section of the Taupo Volcanic Zone.

The North vents show as weakly lithified volcaniclastic material altered to montmorillonite and native sulphur.

The South-East and South-West vents show as amorphous silica cement between volcaniclastic particles, overprinting earlier barite, minor clay, and native sulphur. Cinnabar, stibnite needles, and amorphous arsenic sulphides form outer crusts, fill fractures, and are inclusions in pyrite-silica veins impregnating volcanic ash. Some sulphur rich clay, hydrocarbons, and charcoal fragments are noted. The silica forms opal cement terraces around sinter deposits.

The Central vents contain 6-8 metre high anhydrite mounds.

(Robertson, 1999) determined species including smectite, illite, fine grained muscovite, native sulphur, amorphous silica, cristobalite, barite, gypsum, anhydrite, pyrite, cinnabar, orpiment, realgar, and stibnite from studing samples.



Mineral List


11 valid minerals.

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.

References

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Robertson, J. (1999) Morphology and Mineralogy of Shallow Submarine Hydrothermal Vents of the Calypso Geothermal Field, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, New Zealand branch 32nd annual conference, Vol.32, 41-50.
Stoffers, P., Hannington, M., Wright, I., Herzig, P., de Ronde, C., Shipboard Scientific Party (1999) Elemental mercury at submarine hydrothermal vents in the Bay of Plenty, Taupo volcanic zone, New Zealand. Geology 27(10), 931-934.
Hocking, M.W.A. (2007) The Calypso Hydrothermal Vent Field: The Seafloor Expression of an Active Submarine Low Sulphidation Epithermal System, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. (unpublished thesis, MSc), University of Ottawa, Canada.

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