In the Northern Adriatic Sea, the occurrence of gas seepage and of unique rock outcrops has been widely documented. The genesis of these deposits has recently been ascribed to gas venting, leading to their classification as methane-derived carbonates. However, the origin of seeping gas was not clearly constrained. Geophysical data collected in 2009 reveal that the gas-enriched fluid vents are deeply rooted. In fact, the entire Plio-Quaternary succession is characterized by widespread seismic anomalies represented by wipe-out zones, and interpreted as gas chimneys. They commonly root at the base of the Pliocene sequence but also within the Palaeogene succession, where they appear to be associated to deep-seated faults. We suggest that there is a structural control on chimney distribution. Chimneys originate and terminate at different stratigraphic levels; commonly they reach the seafloor, where authigenic carbonate deposits form locally. Gas analyses of some gas bubble streams just above the rock outcrops reveal that gas is composed mainly of methane. Geochemical analyses performed at four selected outcrop sites show that these deposits formed as a consequence of active gas venting. In particular, geochemical analyses indicate carbonate precipitation from microbial oxidation of methane-rich fluids, although a straightforward correlation with the source depth of gas feeding the authigenic carbonates cannot yet be clearly defined.

Deep-sourced gas seepage and methane-derived carbonates in the Northern Adriatic Sea

Donda F;Forlin E;Gordini E;Volpi V.;Civile D.;De Santis L
2015

Abstract

In the Northern Adriatic Sea, the occurrence of gas seepage and of unique rock outcrops has been widely documented. The genesis of these deposits has recently been ascribed to gas venting, leading to their classification as methane-derived carbonates. However, the origin of seeping gas was not clearly constrained. Geophysical data collected in 2009 reveal that the gas-enriched fluid vents are deeply rooted. In fact, the entire Plio-Quaternary succession is characterized by widespread seismic anomalies represented by wipe-out zones, and interpreted as gas chimneys. They commonly root at the base of the Pliocene sequence but also within the Palaeogene succession, where they appear to be associated to deep-seated faults. We suggest that there is a structural control on chimney distribution. Chimneys originate and terminate at different stratigraphic levels; commonly they reach the seafloor, where authigenic carbonate deposits form locally. Gas analyses of some gas bubble streams just above the rock outcrops reveal that gas is composed mainly of methane. Geochemical analyses performed at four selected outcrop sites show that these deposits formed as a consequence of active gas venting. In particular, geochemical analyses indicate carbonate precipitation from microbial oxidation of methane-rich fluids, although a straightforward correlation with the source depth of gas feeding the authigenic carbonates cannot yet be clearly defined.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/1180
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