Radon and carbon gas anomalies along the Watukosek Fault System and Lusi mud eruption, Indonesia.

Sciarra, A., Mazzini, A., Inguaggiato, S., Vita, F., Lupi, M. and Hadi, S. (2018) Radon and carbon gas anomalies along the Watukosek Fault System and Lusi mud eruption, Indonesia. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 90 . pp. 77-90. DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2017.09.031.

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An extensive survey was carried out in the Sidoarjo district (East Java, Indonesia) to investigate the gas leaking properties along fractured zones coinciding with a strike-slip system, the Watukosek Fault System (WFS) in NE Java. This structure has been the focus of attention since the beginning of the spectacular Lusi mud eruption on the 29th May 2006. The sinistral strike-slip WFS originates from the Arjuno-Welirang volcanic complex, intersects the active Lusi eruption site displaying a system of antithetic faults, and extends towards the NE of Java where mud volcanic structures reside.

In the Lusi region we completed a geochemical survey along three profiles combining measurements of a) 220Rn and 222Rn activity, b) CO2 and CH4 soil gas content, c) CO2 and CH4 fluxes, and d) gas analyses. The profiles are up to ∼1.2 km long and intersect perpendicularly areas with intense fracturing and surface deformation along the WFS. The purpose was to investigate the presence and origin of soil degassing activity in potentially active fault zones.
Results show that the peripheral sectors of the profiles have high 220Rn activity and reduced CO2 and CH4 fluxes and concentrations. This suggests low fluids migration that could be affected by shallow circulation. In contrast, the segments of profiles intersecting the fractured zones have the highest 222Rn activity, CO2 and CH4 flux and gas concentration values.
The relationship existing among the measured parameters suggests that the WFS acts as a preferential pathway for active rise of deep fluids. The presence of such advective processes is suggested by the relatively high rate of migration needed to obtain anomalies of short-lived 222Rn in the soil pores. Gas molecular and isotopic composition reveals that all sampled localities have a mixed hydrocarbon origin implying the presence of shallow microbial and deeper thermogenic hydrocarbons. CO2 isotopic values (δ13C-CO2 ranges between −9.48‰ and 4.12‰ V-PDB) indicate the presence of mantle derived CO2 and thermo-metamorphic CO2 suggesting that elevated temperatures have a key role in this active system. The samples collected from fractured and faulted zones reveal to have gas composition similar to that obtained from Lusi crater, indicating deep origin fluids.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/308126
Keywords: Lusi mud eruption, Watukosek Fault System, Radon, CO2 – CH4 flux and concentration, Gas migration and origin
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 02 May 2018 12:49
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 07:44
URI: https://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/42891

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