In-situ sediment temperature measurements and geochemical porewater data suggest highly dynamic fluid flow at Isis mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Feseker, Tomas, Dählmann, A., Foucher, J.-P. and Harmegnies, F. (2009) In-situ sediment temperature measurements and geochemical porewater data suggest highly dynamic fluid flow at Isis mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea. Marine Geology, 261 (1/4). pp. 128-137. DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2008.09.003.

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Abstract

Isis mud volcano is located on the upper slope of the Nile deep-sea fan and has been described as the surface expression of a deep-seated gas chimney [Loncke, L., Gaullier, V., Mascle, J., Vendeville, B., 2002. Shallow structure of the Nile deep-sea fan: interactions between structural heritage and salt tectonics; consequences on sedimentary dispersal. In: CIESM (Ed.), Turbidite systems and deep-sea fans of the Mediterranean and the Black seas. CIESM Workshop Series. vol. 17. Monaco]. Detailed geothermal and geochemical investigations of Isis MV have been carried out during the NAUTINIL (2003) and MIMES (2004) cruises within the framework of the Euro-margins/Mediflux project. Sediment temperatures of more than 40 °C at 10 m below the seafloor at the center of the mud volcano indicate an exceptionally high level of activity. Rapidly decreasing temperature gradients away from the center support the hypothesis of a dominantly axisymmetric functioning of Isis MV. The microbathymetry along dive tracks of the submersible Nautile reveals the presence of terraces and shows that the temperature gradients at shallow sediment depth follow the morphology. At the center, porewater profiles are characterized by a rapid decrease of chlorinity within the uppermost meter of the sediments, whereas the chlorinity of cores taken at short distances away is equal to bottom water values. Applying simple analytical models to the data provides evidence of recent mud volcano activity but no straightforward explanation of the observed anomalies, which points to a transient regime of variable fluid flow, possibly accompanied by episodic mud eruptions. Numerical modeling suggests that rapid cooling of the sediment column and downward progression of the sharp decrease in porewater chlorinity observed between the two cruises is related to episodic infiltration of bottom seawater into the mud.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: mud volcano, Nile deep-sea fan
Research affiliation: IFREMER
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
AWI
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.margeo.2008.09.003
ISSN: 0025-3227
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2010 17:41
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 09:59
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/353

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