Submarine mud volcanoes develop through the extrusion of methane-rich fluids and sediments onto the seafloor. The morphology of a mud volcano can record its extrusive history and processes of erosion and deformation affecting it. The study of offshore mud volcano dynamics is limited because only few have been mapped at resolutions that reveal their detailed surface structures. More importantly, rates and volumes of extruded sediment and methane are poorly constrained. The 100 m high twin cones of Venere mud volcano are situated at 1,600 m water depth within Squillace Canyon along the Ionian Calabrian margin, Mediterranean Sea. Seafloor bathymetry and backscatter data obtained by a ship-based system and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) allow mapping of mudflow deposits of the mud volcano and bedforms in the surrounding canyon. Repeated surveying by AUV document active mud movement at the western summit in between 2014 and 2016. Through sediment coring and tephrochronology, ages of buried mudflow deposits are determined based on the sedimentation rate and the thickness of overlying hemipelagic sediments. An average extrusion rate of 27,000 m3/yr over the last 882 years is estimated. These results support a three-stage evolutionary model of Venere mud volcano since 4,000 years ago. It includes the onset of quiescence at the eastern cone (after 2,200 years ago), erosive events in Squillace Canyon (prior to 882 years ago), and mudflows from the eastern cone (since 882 years). This study reveals new interactions between a mud volcano and a canyon in the deep sea.

Mud volcanism in a canyon: Morphodynamic evolution of the active Venere mud volcano and its interplay with Squillace Canyon, Central Mediterranean.

Ceramicola S;
2018

Abstract

Submarine mud volcanoes develop through the extrusion of methane-rich fluids and sediments onto the seafloor. The morphology of a mud volcano can record its extrusive history and processes of erosion and deformation affecting it. The study of offshore mud volcano dynamics is limited because only few have been mapped at resolutions that reveal their detailed surface structures. More importantly, rates and volumes of extruded sediment and methane are poorly constrained. The 100 m high twin cones of Venere mud volcano are situated at 1,600 m water depth within Squillace Canyon along the Ionian Calabrian margin, Mediterranean Sea. Seafloor bathymetry and backscatter data obtained by a ship-based system and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) allow mapping of mudflow deposits of the mud volcano and bedforms in the surrounding canyon. Repeated surveying by AUV document active mud movement at the western summit in between 2014 and 2016. Through sediment coring and tephrochronology, ages of buried mudflow deposits are determined based on the sedimentation rate and the thickness of overlying hemipelagic sediments. An average extrusion rate of 27,000 m3/yr over the last 882 years is estimated. These results support a three-stage evolutionary model of Venere mud volcano since 4,000 years ago. It includes the onset of quiescence at the eastern cone (after 2,200 years ago), erosive events in Squillace Canyon (prior to 882 years ago), and mudflows from the eastern cone (since 882 years). This study reveals new interactions between a mud volcano and a canyon in the deep sea.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/1356
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