Using echo sounders to detect gas plumes in seawater is common, especially in the context of hydrothermal circulation areas or gas hydrate-bearing cold seeps. To understand the distribution of gas plumes in the southernmost Okinawa Trough, we have conducted 13 cruises with a 38 kHz single-beam echo sounder (EK60). A total of 266 gas plumes of acoustic image, associated with the hydrothermal circulation, are detected. To estimate the near-seafloor bottom current speeds, 201 gas plumes are further used. As a result, the gas plumes around the axial depression of the Okinawa Trough generally tilt to the northeast at rising tides and high tides, suggesting a northeastward flow of the bottom current. However, the gas plumes in the Keelung continental slope tilt to the southwest at ebb tides and low tides, suggesting a southwestward flow of the bottom current. Our results significantly show a good estimation of the near-seafloor bottom currents from EK plume images in the case of lacking real observations. The directions of the bottom currents depend on semidiurnal tides. Assuming a quasi-constant speed of upward gas bubbles out of seabed, we have estimated the bottom current speeds in 6 hydrothermal circulation zones near the rifting center of the southernmost Okinawa Trough. The estimated bottom current speeds in submarine volcanic areas vary largely from 2 to 160 cm s-1, but bottom current speeds in relatively flat region are between 20 and 50 cm s-1. The large variation of the bottom current speeds in the submarine volcanic areas could be due to the variable emissions of the gases out of the submarine volcanic areas.
|頁（從 - 到）||649-674|
|期刊||Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences|
|出版狀態||已出版 - 2019|