Linked halokinesis and mud volcanism at the Mercator Mud Volcano, Gulf of Cadiz

Perez-Garcia, C., Berndt, Christian, Klaeschen, Dirk, Mienert, Jürgen, Haffert, Laura, Depreiter, D. and Haeckel, Matthias (2011) Linked halokinesis and mud volcanism at the Mercator Mud Volcano, Gulf of Cadiz Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, 116 . B05101. DOI 10.1029/2010JB008061.

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Mud volcanoes are seafloor expressions of focused fluid flow that are common in compressional tectonic settings. New high-resolution 3-D seismic data from the Mercator mud volcano (MMV) and an adjacent buried mud volcano (BMV) image the internal structure of the top 800 m of sediment at both mud volcanoes, revealing that both are linked and have been active episodically. The total volumes of extruded mud range between 0.15 and 0.35 km3 and 0.02–0.05 km3 for the MMV and the BMV, respectively. The pore water composition of surface sediment samples suggests that halokinesis has played an important role in the evolution of the mud volcanoes. We propose that erosion of the top of the Vernadsky Ridge that underlies the mud volcanoes activated salt movement, triggering deep migration of fluids, dissolution of salt, and sediment liquefaction and mobilization since the end of the Pliocene. Since beginning of mud volcanism in this area, the mud volcanoes erupted four times while there was only one reactivation of salt tectonics. This implies that there are other mechanisms that trigger mud eruptions. The stratigraphic relationship of mudflows from the MMV and BMV indicates that the BMV was triggered by the MMV eruptions. This may either be caused by loading-induced hydrofracturing within the BMV or due to a common feeder system for both mud volcanoes. This study shows that the mud volcanoes in the El Arraiche mud volcano field are long-lived features that erupt with intervals of several tens of thousands of years.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Geodynamics; Volcanology; Mud volcanism, Mercator Mud Volcano
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2010JB008061
ISSN: 0148-0227
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2011 09:32
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 15:05

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