The results of drilling near the spreading-ridge-type, volcanic-hosted, massive sulfide deposits of Agrokipia, Cyprus, are described. Mineralization and associated argillic hydrothermal alteration occur over intervals of 5–130 m and at depths of 80–230 m beneath the original surface of the oceanic crust. Mineralization occurs in massive flows that probably represent a locally ponded sequence up to 300 m thick. Abundant glass–aphanitic basalt transitions are present from about 100 m below the surface of the ponded sequence, with glass abundances locally reaching 60% of the section. A novel hypothesis, involving the presence of active, high-temperature hydrothermal vents beneath the cooling ponded sequence, with the passage of hydrothermal fluids through the still molten lava, is proposed to account for the observations. While this hypothesis is reasonable, the inferred processes have not, as yet, been demonstrated under either laboratory or field conditions. The seafloor expression of this system was probably one of widely distributed, low-temperature, fluid emission over the surface of a lava pond in the axial graben of a spreading ridge.

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