Temperature measurements and thermal gradient estimates on the slope and shelf-edge region of the Beaufort Sea, Canada.

Riedel, Michael , Villinger, H., Asshoff, K., Kaul, N. and Dallimore, S. R. (2015) Temperature measurements and thermal gradient estimates on the slope and shelf-edge region of the Beaufort Sea, Canada. . Geological Survey of Canada Open File, 7725 . , 143 pp. DOI 10.4095/296570.

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In situ temperature measurements were conducted at 63 gravity-core stations during the 2013 expedition with the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Outriggers attached to the outside of the gravity core-barrel were used to mount portable miniature temperature loggers (MTL) for down-core in situ temperature measurements. Several sub-regions were investigated during the expedition including two shelf-slope crossings, three mud volcano-type expulsion features, as well as two canyon sites. The last site visited was at the Gary Knolls, just east of the Mackenzie Trough at water depths of less than 100 m.
Overall, temperature data obtained from the MTLs were of high quality at most stations and the data acquisition technique was proven to be robust and easy to adapt in the Arctic. However, depth determination for each logger position remains the largest challenge as no additional pressure sensor was used with the MTLs. Instead, depths were estimated based on the apparent core penetration and the geometry of the outriggers.
The most significant result from this work is the discovery of the very large apparent geothermal gradients associated with the two expulsion features (EF) Coke Cap and the mud volcano at 420 m water depth. Temperatures measured within the top 2.5 meter below seafloor suggest geothermal gradients of up to 2.94ºC/m (Station 96, 420m EF) and 1.37 ºC/m (Station 58, Coke Cap EF). Away from the centre of the EFs, thermal gradients decrease to values of 0.5ºC/m for Station 99 at the 420 m EF, and 0.92ºC/m at Station 21 at the Coke Cap EF. Temperature data across the slope-shelf transect and the two transects across the canyon heads did not reveal considerable geothermal gradients, but show a water-depth dependent trend in temperature. From deep to shallow water, temperature appear to decrease until the most negative temperature values are found on the shelf itself at water depths of ~100 m (-1.2 to -1.4ºC).
Overall, data from the top 1.0 to 1.5 meter below seafloor are likely affected by seasonal variations in the water column temperature and may not be used to define geothermal gradients. With an optimal full penetration of the core barrel, the deepest temperature data are from ~2.3 mbsf, which limits the accuracy of the estimated geothermal gradients as only few data points (2 – 4) can be used in the calculations.

Document Type: Report (Research Report)
Keywords: geophysics; fossil fuels; geophysical surveys; seismographs; seismological network; seismology; seismic waves; acoustic surveys; acoustic surveys, marine; bathymetry; continental shelf; continental slope; slope deposits; temperature; geothermal gradient; geothermal temperatures; permafrost; ground ice
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.4095/296570
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2015 12:43
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2015 12:43
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/30665

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