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Linked halokinesis and mud volcanism at the Mercator mud volcano, Gulf of Cadiz

Record type: Article

Mud volcanoes are seafloor expressions of focused fluid flow that are common in compressional tectonic settings. New high-resolution 3-D seismic data from the Mercator mud volcano (MMV) and an adjacent buried mud volcano (BMV) image the internal structure of the top 800 m of sediment at both mud volcanoes, revealing that both are linked and have been active episodically. The total volumes of extruded mud range between 0.15 and 0.35 km3 and 0.02–0.05 km3 for the MMV and the BMV, respectively. The pore water composition of surface sediment samples suggests that halokinesis has played an important role in the evolution of the mud volcanoes. We propose that erosion of the top of the Vernadsky Ridge that underlies the mud volcanoes activated salt movement, triggering deep migration of fluids, dissolution of salt, and sediment liquefaction and mobilization since the end of the Pliocene. Since beginning of mud volcanism in this area, the mud volcanoes erupted four times while there was only one reactivation of salt tectonics. This implies that there are other mechanisms that trigger mud eruptions. The stratigraphic relationship of mudflows from the MMV and BMV indicates that the BMV was triggered by the MMV eruptions. This may either be caused by loading-induced hydrofracturing within the BMV or due to a common feeder system for both mud volcanoes. This study shows that the mud volcanoes in the El Arraiche mud volcano field are long-lived features that erupt with intervals of several tens of thousands of years.

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Citation

Perez-Garcia, Carolina, Berndt, Christian, Klaeschen, Dirk, Mienert, Jürgen, Haffert, Laura, Depreiter, Davy and Haeckel, Matthias (2011) Linked halokinesis and mud volcanism at the Mercator mud volcano, Gulf of Cadiz Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, (B5), B05101. (doi:10.1029/2010JB008061).

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Published date: 2011
Organisations: National Oceanography Centre

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 206195
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/206195
ISSN: 0148-0227
PURE UUID: ae3c1295-d179-4ae4-9ee5-f13d3be73ffc

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Date deposited: 15 Dec 2011 13:56
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:03

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Contributors

Author: Carolina Perez-Garcia
Author: Christian Berndt
Author: Dirk Klaeschen
Author: Jürgen Mienert
Author: Laura Haffert
Author: Davy Depreiter
Author: Matthias Haeckel

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