Cold seeps along the main Marmara Fault in the Sea of Marmara (Turkey)

Zitter T. A. C., HENRY P., ALOISI G., DELAYGUE G., Cagatay M. N., DE LEPINAY B. M., ...More

DEEP-SEA RESEARCH PART I-OCEANOGRAPHIC RESEARCH PAPERS, vol.55, no.4, pp.552-570, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The main Marmara Fault exhibits numerous sites of fluid venting, observed during previous cruises and in particular with R.O.V. VICTOR during the MARMARASCARPS cruise (2002). Long CALYPSO cores were recovered near active vents and at reference sites during the MARMARA-VT cruise (2004), together with echosounder sub-bottom profiles (frequency of 3.5kHz). We compiled R.O.V. video observations from MARMARASCARPS cruise and show that all known seeps occur in relationship with strike-slip faults, providing pathways for fluid migration. Among the main active sites, a distinction is made between gas seeps and water seeps. At gas seeps, bubble emissions at the seafloor or disturbed echofacies on sounder profiles demonstrate the presence of free methane gas at a shallow depth within the sediment. Most cores displayed gas-related expansion, most intense for cores taken within the gas plumes. On the other hand. authigenic carbonate chimneys characterize the water seeps and visible water outflow was observed at two sites (in the Tekirdag and Central basins). The pore fluid chemistry data show that the water expelled at these sites is brackish water trapped in the sediment during lacustrine times (before 14 cal kyr BP), in relation with the paleoceanography in the Sea of Marmara. The chimney site in the Tekirdag Basin is located at the outlet of a canyon feeding a buried fan with coarse sandy turbidites. Pore fluid composition profiles indicate that the sand layers channel the brackish fluids laterally from the basin into the fault zone at less than 20 m depth. However, a deeper gas source cannot be excluded. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.