Evidence from three-dimensional seismic tomography for a substantial accumulation of gas hydrate in a fluid-escape chimney in the Nyegga pockmark field, offshore Norway

Type Article
Date 2010-08
Language English
Author(s) Plaza-Faverola Andreia1, 2, Westbrook Graham K.3, Ker StephanORCID1, Exley Russell J. K.3, Gailler Audrey3, 4, Minshull Tim A.5, Broto Karine6
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Dept Marine Geosci, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Univ Tromso, Dept Geol, N-9037 Tromso, Norway.
3 : Univ Birmingham, Sch Geog Earth & Environm Sci, Birmingham B15 2TT, W Midlands, England.
4 : Univ Europeenne Bretagne, Inst Univ Europeen Mer, CNRS, UMR 6538, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
5 : Univ Southampton, Natl Oceanog Ctr, Southampton SO14 3ZH, Hants, England.
6 : Inst Francais Petr, F-92852 Rueil Malmaison, France.
Source Journal Of Geophysical Research-solid Earth (0148-0227) (Amer Geophysical Union), 2010-08 , Vol. 115 , N. B08104 , P. 1-24
DOI 10.1029/2009JB007078
WOS© Times Cited 42
Keyword(s) travel time tomography, mid norwegian margin, storegga slide, bearing sediments, voring plateau, reflection tomography, continental margins, marine sediments, atlantic margin, velocity models
Abstract In recent years, it has become evident that features commonly called gas chimneys provide major routes for methane to pass through the methane-hydrate stability zone in continental margins and escape to the ocean. One of many such chimneys lying beneath pockmarks in the southeastern Voring Plateau off Norway was investigated with a high-resolution seismic experiment employing a 2-D array of sixteen 4-component ocean bottom seismic recorders at approximately 100 m separation and a dense network of shots to define the 3-D variation of the chimney's structure and seismic properties. The tomographic model derived from P wave travel times shows that P wave velocity inside the chimney is up to 300 m/s higher than in the surrounding strata within the methane-hydrate stability zone. The zone of anomalously high velocity, about 500 m wide near its base, narrowing to about 200 m near the seabed, extends to a depth of 250 m below the seafloor. The depth extent of this zone and absence of high velocity beneath the base of the methane-hydrate stability field make it more likely that it contains hydrate rather than carbonate. If a predominantly fracture-filling model is appropriate for the formation of hydrate in low-permeability sediment, the maximum hydrate concentration in the chimney is estimated to be 14%-27% by total volume, depending on how host-sediment properties are affected by hydrate formation. Doming of the strata penetrated by the chimney appears to be associated with the emplacement of hydrate, accompanying the invasion of the gas hydrate stability zone by free gas.
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Plaza-Faverola Andreia, Westbrook Graham K., Ker Stephan, Exley Russell J. K., Gailler Audrey, Minshull Tim A., Broto Karine (2010). Evidence from three-dimensional seismic tomography for a substantial accumulation of gas hydrate in a fluid-escape chimney in the Nyegga pockmark field, offshore Norway. Journal Of Geophysical Research-solid Earth, 115(B08104), 1-24. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1029/2009JB007078 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00012/12326/