Fluid flow and origin of a carbonate mound offshore Vancouver Island: Seismic and heat flow constraints.

He, T., Spence, G. D., Riedel, Michael , Hyndman, R. D. and Chapman, N. R. (2007) Fluid flow and origin of a carbonate mound offshore Vancouver Island: Seismic and heat flow constraints. Marine Geology, 239 (1-2). pp. 83-98. DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2007.01.002.

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Abstract

A 1.5 km long, 1 km wide and 70–80 m high carbonate mound was identified on the mid-slope region of the subduction accretionary sedimentary prism offshore Vancouver Island ∼ 3.5 km west of Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 889 and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1327. Seabed-video images show the presence of seafloor carbonate as well as chemosynthetic communities. A high-resolution single channel seismic survey with close line spacing, recording coherent reflectivity down to about 400 m beneath the seafloor, provided acoustic images of this mound and of the gas hydrate bottom-simulating reflector (BSR) beneath it. The mound is interpreted to have developed as a structural topographic high in the hanging wall of a large reverse fault formed at the base of the current seaward slope. The fault zone provides pathways for fluids including gas to migrate to the seafloor where diagenetic carbonate forms and cements the near-surface sediments. To examine the thermal effect of possible upward fluid flow beneath the mound, heat flow at the mound and in the neighbouring region was calculated from the depth of the BSR below the seafloor. These data were combined with heat flow calculated over a broader region from previous multi-channel seismic data. Heat flow within the flattest portion of the surrounding 4 km by 8 km region averages ∼ 74 mW/m2. Taking this value to represent the regional or background heat flow, a simple 2D analytical method was used to calculate theoretical heat flow variations due to topography. Across the mound, most of the variability is explained by topographic effects, including a local 6 mW/m2 negative anomaly over the central mound and a large 20 mW/m2 positive anomaly over the mound steep side slope. However, just south of the mound, there is a 6–7 mW/m2 positive anomaly in a 2-km-long band that has predominantly flat seafloor. Most of this anomaly is probably unrelated to topographic effects, but rather likely due to warm upward fluid flow along faults or fracture zones.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: seismology; carbonate mound; gas hydrate; heat flow; fluid flow; Vancouver Island
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.margeo.2007.01.002
ISSN: 0025-3227
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2015 10:12
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2015 10:12
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/30157

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