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Increased fluid flow activity in shallow sediments at the 3 km Long Hugin Fracture in the central North Sea

Increased fluid flow activity in shallow sediments at the 3 km Long Hugin Fracture in the central North Sea
Increased fluid flow activity in shallow sediments at the 3 km Long Hugin Fracture in the central North Sea
The North Sea hosts a wide variety of seafloor seeps that may be important for transfer of chemical species, such as methane, from the Earth's interior to its exterior. Here we provide geochemical and geophysical evidence for fluid flow within shallow sediments at the recently discovered, 3-km long Hugin Fracture in the Central North Sea. Although venting of gas bubbles was not observed, concentrations of dissolved methane were significantly elevated (up to six-times background values) in the water column at various locations above the fracture, and microbial mats that form in the presence of methane were observed at the seafloor. Seismic amplitude anomalies revealed a bright spot at a fault bend that may be the source of the water column methane. Sediment porewaters recovered in close proximity to the Hugin Fracture indicate the presence of fluids from two different shallow (<500m) sources: (i) a reduced fluid characterized by elevated methane concentrations and/or high levels of dissolved sulfide (up to 6 mmol L−1), and (ii) a low-chlorinity fluid (Cl ∼305 mmol L−1) that has low levels of dissolved methane and/or sulfide. The area of the seafloor affected by the presence of methane-enriched fluids is similar to the footprint of seepage from other morphological features in the North Sea.
1525-2027
Lichtschlag, A.
f465c42f-b2fd-45a8-ae5b-8b7381d62c13
Cevatoglu, M.
bcd1a613-f62c-4ae2-bd6e-d59038b6940a
Connelly, D.P.
d49131bb-af38-4768-9953-7ae0b43e33c8
James, R.H.
79aa1d5c-675d-4ba3-85be-fb20798c02f4
Bull, J.M.
974037fd-544b-458f-98cc-ce8eca89e3c8
Lichtschlag, A.
f465c42f-b2fd-45a8-ae5b-8b7381d62c13
Cevatoglu, M.
bcd1a613-f62c-4ae2-bd6e-d59038b6940a
Connelly, D.P.
d49131bb-af38-4768-9953-7ae0b43e33c8
James, R.H.
79aa1d5c-675d-4ba3-85be-fb20798c02f4
Bull, J.M.
974037fd-544b-458f-98cc-ce8eca89e3c8

Lichtschlag, A., Cevatoglu, M., Connelly, D.P., James, R.H. and Bull, J.M. (2018) Increased fluid flow activity in shallow sediments at the 3 km Long Hugin Fracture in the central North Sea. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. (doi:10.1002/2017GC007181).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The North Sea hosts a wide variety of seafloor seeps that may be important for transfer of chemical species, such as methane, from the Earth's interior to its exterior. Here we provide geochemical and geophysical evidence for fluid flow within shallow sediments at the recently discovered, 3-km long Hugin Fracture in the Central North Sea. Although venting of gas bubbles was not observed, concentrations of dissolved methane were significantly elevated (up to six-times background values) in the water column at various locations above the fracture, and microbial mats that form in the presence of methane were observed at the seafloor. Seismic amplitude anomalies revealed a bright spot at a fault bend that may be the source of the water column methane. Sediment porewaters recovered in close proximity to the Hugin Fracture indicate the presence of fluids from two different shallow (<500m) sources: (i) a reduced fluid characterized by elevated methane concentrations and/or high levels of dissolved sulfide (up to 6 mmol L−1), and (ii) a low-chlorinity fluid (Cl ∼305 mmol L−1) that has low levels of dissolved methane and/or sulfide. The area of the seafloor affected by the presence of methane-enriched fluids is similar to the footprint of seepage from other morphological features in the North Sea.

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Lichtschlag_et_al-2017-Geochemistry,_Geophysics,_Geosystems - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 6 December 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 January 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416474
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416474
ISSN: 1525-2027
PURE UUID: ec3e04ce-6310-46d5-8bb7-eb5767ecc3cf
ORCID for R.H. James: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7402-2315

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Date deposited: 20 Dec 2017 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:54

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Contributors

Author: A. Lichtschlag
Author: M. Cevatoglu
Author: D.P. Connelly
Author: R.H. James ORCID iD
Author: J.M. Bull

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