Tectonic Controls on Gas Hydrate Distribution off SW Taiwan

Berndt, Christian, Chi, W.-C., Jegen, Marion, Lebas, Elodie, Crutchley, G., Muff, Sina, Hölz, Sebastian, Sommer, Malte, Lin, S., Liu, C.-S., Lin, A. T., Klaeschen, Dirk, Klaucke, Ingo, Chen, L., Hsu, H.-H., Kunath, P., Elger, Judith, McIntosh, K. D. and Feseker, T. (2019) Tectonic Controls on Gas Hydrate Distribution off SW Taiwan Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth . DOI 10.1029/2018JB016213.

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The northern part of the South China Sea is characterized by widespread occurrence of bottom simulating reflectors (BSR) indicating the presence of marine gas hydrate. Because the area covers both a tectonically inactive passive margin and the termination of a subduction zone, the influence of tectonism on the dynamics of gas hydrate systems can be studied in this region. Geophysical data show that there are multiple thrust faults on the active margin while much fewer and smaller faults exist in the passive margin. This tectonic difference matches with a difference in the geophysical characteristics of the gas hydrate systems. High hydrate saturation derived from ocean bottom seismometer data and controlled source electromagnetic data and conspicuous high‐amplitude reflections in P‐Cable 3D seismic data above the BSR are found in the anticlinal ridges of the active margin. In contrast all geophysical evidence for the passive margin points to normal to low hydrate saturations. Geochemical analyses of gas samples collected at seep sites on the active margin show methane with heavy δ13C isotope composition, while gas collected at the passive margin shows light carbon isotope composition. Thus, we interpret the passive margin as a typical gas hydrate province fuelled by biogenic production of methane and the active margin gas hydrate system as a system that is fuelled not only by biogenic gas production but also by additional advection of thermogenic methane from the subduction system.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Taiwan gas hydrates, tectonic setting, geophysical integration
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2018JB016213
ISSN: 0148-0227
Projects: MOST
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2019 13:28
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2019 09:10
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/45399

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