Abstract Existing knowledge on the distribution of mud volcanoes (MVs) and other significant fluid/free gas-venting fea- tures (mud cones, mud pies, mud-brine pools, mud carbonate cones, gas chimneys and, in some cases, pockmark fields) discovered on the seafloor of the Mediterranean Sea and in the nearby Gulf of Cadiz has been compiled using regional geophysical information (including multibeam coverage of most deepwater areas). The resulting dataset comprises both features proven from geological sampling, or in situ observations, and many previously unrecognized MVs inferred from geophysical evidence. The synthesis reveals that MVs clearly have non-random distributions that correspond to two main geodynamic settings: (1) the vast majority occur along the various tectono-sedimentary accretionary wedges of the Africa-Eurasia subduction zone, particularly in the central and eastern Mediterranean basins (external Calabrian Arc, Mediterranean Ridge, Florence Rise) but also along its west- ernmost boundary in the Gulf of Cadiz; (2) other MVs char- acterize thick depocentres along parts of the Mesozoic passive continental margins that border Africa from eastern Tunisia to the Levantine coasts, particularly off Egypt and, locally, within some areas of the western Mediterranean back-arc basins. Meaningfully accounting for MV distribution necessitates evidence of overpressured fluids and mud-rich layers. In addition, cross-correlations between MVs and other GIS-based data, such as maps of the Messinian evaporite basins and/or active (or recently active) tectonic trends, stress the importance of assessing geological control in terms of the presence, or not, of thick seals and potential conduits. It is contended that new MV discoveries may be expected in the study region, particu- larly along the southern Ionian Sea continental margins.

Distribution and geological control of mud volcanoes and other fluid/free gas seepage features in theMediterranean Sea and nearby Gulf of Cadiz

Praeg D;Ceramicola S;
2014

Abstract

Abstract Existing knowledge on the distribution of mud volcanoes (MVs) and other significant fluid/free gas-venting fea- tures (mud cones, mud pies, mud-brine pools, mud carbonate cones, gas chimneys and, in some cases, pockmark fields) discovered on the seafloor of the Mediterranean Sea and in the nearby Gulf of Cadiz has been compiled using regional geophysical information (including multibeam coverage of most deepwater areas). The resulting dataset comprises both features proven from geological sampling, or in situ observations, and many previously unrecognized MVs inferred from geophysical evidence. The synthesis reveals that MVs clearly have non-random distributions that correspond to two main geodynamic settings: (1) the vast majority occur along the various tectono-sedimentary accretionary wedges of the Africa-Eurasia subduction zone, particularly in the central and eastern Mediterranean basins (external Calabrian Arc, Mediterranean Ridge, Florence Rise) but also along its west- ernmost boundary in the Gulf of Cadiz; (2) other MVs char- acterize thick depocentres along parts of the Mesozoic passive continental margins that border Africa from eastern Tunisia to the Levantine coasts, particularly off Egypt and, locally, within some areas of the western Mediterranean back-arc basins. Meaningfully accounting for MV distribution necessitates evidence of overpressured fluids and mud-rich layers. In addition, cross-correlations between MVs and other GIS-based data, such as maps of the Messinian evaporite basins and/or active (or recently active) tectonic trends, stress the importance of assessing geological control in terms of the presence, or not, of thick seals and potential conduits. It is contended that new MV discoveries may be expected in the study region, particu- larly along the southern Ionian Sea continental margins.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/2321
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