Using Numerical Models of Poroelastic Fluid Flow to Constrain the Permeability Structure of Young Ocean Crust

Lead PI: Timothy J Crone

Unit Affiliation: Marine and Polar Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

September 2009 - August 2012
Pacific Ocean
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: Research will be continued into using numerical models of poroelastic flow to constrain the permeability structure of mid-ocean ridge crust. The project will have three phases: 1) using forward modeling to establish two-dimensional models of permeability structure using an earthquake catalog; 2) conducting an analysis to quantify the influence of other poroelastic parameters to establish uncertainties; and 3) exploring three more high-density earthquake catalogs to search for spatial patterns in tidal triggering that can help constrain permeability structure in other environments.

OUTCOMES: Phase one has been completed. Found that permeability in young ocean crust may vary by several orders of magnitude over horizontal scales of hundreds of meters and these variations likely prescribe the geometry of hydrothermal convection. Found that the TAG hydrothermal mound has a potential hydrological source. Two journal publications.


National Science Foundation (NSF)




Maya Tolstoy



Crone, TJ; Tolstoy, M; Stroup, DF. "Permeability structure of young ocean crust from poroelastically triggered earthquakes," GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, v.38, 2011. View record at Web of Science doi:10.1029/2011GL04682

Crone, TJ; Sohn, RA; Webb, SC. "Modeling ground surface deformation at the TAG hydrothermal field using feedbacks between permeability and poroelastic fluid flow," GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, v.74, 2010, p. A196. View record at Web of Science


circulation patterns heat flux mid-ocean ridge permeability seismology geology and tectonics hydrothermal convection poroelastic fluid flow