Geological controls on the Storegga gas-hydrate system of the mid-Norwegian continental margin


Bunz, S., Mienert, J. and Berndt, C. (2003) Geological controls on the Storegga gas-hydrate system of the mid-Norwegian continental margin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 209, (3-4), 291-307. (doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(03)00097-9).

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Description/Abstract

The geologic setting of the formerly glaciated mid-Norwegian continental margin exerts specific controls on the formation of a bottom-simulating reflector (BSR) and the inferred distribution of gas hydrates. On the continental slope the lithology of glacigenic debris flow deposits and pre-glacial basin deposits of the Kai Formation prevent gas-hydrate formation, because of reduced pore size, reduced water content and fine-grained sediment composition. Towards the continental shelf, the shoaling and pinch-out of the gas-hydrate stability zone terminates the area of gas-hydrate growth. These geological controls confine the occurrence of gas hydrates and ensuing formation of a BSR to a small zone along the northern flank of the Storegga submarine slide and the slide area itself. A BSR inside the slide area indicates a dynamically adjusting gas-hydrate system to post-slide pressure–temperature equilibrium conditions. These observations, together with widespread evidence for fluid flow and deep-seated hydrocarbon reservoirs, suggest that the formation of BSR and gas hydrates on the mid-Norwegian continental margin is dominated by an advection of gas from the strata distinctly beneath the gas-hydrate stability zone. Fluids migrate upward within the Naust Formation and are deflected laterally by hydrated sediments and less permeable layers. Gases continually accumulate at the top of the slope, where overpressure eventually results in the formation of blow-out pipes and consequent pockmark development on the seabed.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0012-821X (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: gas hydrate, bottom-simulating reflector, fluid flow, pipes, pockmark, polygonal faults, reflection seismic, hydrocarbon, norwegian margin, storegga slide, møre basin, vøring basin
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 2058
Date Deposited: 12 May 2004
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:00
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/2058

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