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Guangyu Xu

Research Associate





Department Affiliation



B.S. Ocean Technology, Ocean University of China (Qingdao, Shandong Province, China), 2008

M.S. Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, 2010

Ph.D. Marine Sciences, Rutgers University, 2015


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Dispersal of hydrothermal vent larvae at East Pacific Rise 9–10°N segment

Xu, G., D.J. McGillicuddy Jr., S.W. Mills, and L.S. Mullineaux, "Dispersal of hydrothermal vent larvae at East Pacific Rise 9–10°N segment," J. Geophys. Res., 123, 7877-7895, doi:, 2018.

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1 Nov 2018

A three‐dimensional, primitive‐equation, ocean circulation model coupled with a Lagrangian particle‐tracking algorithm is used to investigate the dispersal and settlement of planktonic larvae released from discrete hydrothermal habitats on the East Pacific Rise segment at 9–10°N. Model outputs show that mean circulation is anticyclonic around the ridge segment, which consists of a northward flow along the western flank and a southward flow along the eastern flank. Those flank jets are dispersal expressways for the along‐ridge larval transport and strongly affect its overall direction and spatial‐temporal variations. It is evident from model results that the transform faults bounding the ridge segment and off axis topography (the Lamont Seamount Chain) act as topographic barriers to larval dispersal in the along‐ridge direction. Furthermore, the presence of an overlapping spreading center and an adjacent local topographic high impedes the southward along‐ridge larval transport. The model results suggest that larval recolonization within ridge‐crest habitats is enhanced by the anticyclonic circulation around the ridge segment, and the overall recolonization rate is higher for larvae having a short precompetency period and an altitude above the bottom sufficient to avoid influence by the near‐bottom currents Surprisingly, for larvae having a long precompetency period (>10 days), the prolonged travel time allowed some of those larvae to return to their natal vent clusters, which results in an unexpected increase in connectivity among natal and neighboring sites. Overall, model‐based predictions of connectivity are highly sensitive to the larval precompetency period and vertical position in the water column.

Observation and modeling of hydrothermal response to the 2015 eruption at Axial Seamount, Northeast Pacific

Xu, G., W.W. Chadwick, W.S.D. Wilcock, K.G. Bemis, and J. Delaney, "Observation and modeling of hydrothermal response to the 2015 eruption at Axial Seamount, Northeast Pacific," Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 18, 2780-2797, doi:10.1029/2018GC007607, 2018.

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1 Aug 2018

The 2015 eruption at Axial Seamount, an active volcano at a depth of 1500 m in the Northeast Pacific, marked the first time a seafloor eruption was detected and monitored by an in situ cabled observatory — the Cabled Array, which is part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative. After the onset of the eruption, eight cabled and noncabled instruments on the seafloor recorded unusual, nearly synchronous and spatially uniform temperature increases of 0.6–0.7°C across the southern half of the caldera and neighboring areas. These temperature signals were substantially different from those observed after the 2011 and 1998 eruptions at Axial and hence cannot be explained by emplacement of the 2015 lava flows on the seafloor. In this study, we investigate several possible explanations for the 2015 temperature anomalies and use a numerical model to test our preferred hypothesis that the temperature increases were caused by the release of a warm, dense brine that had previously been stored in the crust. If our interpretation is correct, this is the first time that the release of a hydrothermal brine has been observed due to a submarine eruption. This observation would have important implications for the salt balance of hydrothermal systems and the fate of brines stored in the subsurface. The observation of the 2015 temperature anomalies and the modeling presented in this study also demonstrate the importance of contemporaneous water column observations to better understand hydrothermal impacts of submarine eruptions.

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center