Eruption of a deep-sea mud volcano triggers rapid sediment movement

Type Article
Date 2014-11-11
Language English
Author(s) Feseker Tomas1, 2, 3, Boetius Antje1, 2, 4, 5, Wenzhofer Frank4, 5, Blandin Jerome6, Olu KarineORCID7, Yoerger Dana R.8, Camilli Richard8, German Christopher R.8, de Beer Dirk5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Bremen, MARUM Ctr Marine Environm Sci, D-28359 Bremen, Germany.
2 : Univ Bremen, Fac Geosci, D-28359 Bremen, Germany.
3 : Helmholtz Ctr Ocean Res Kiel, GEOMAR, D-24148 Kiel, Germany.
4 : Alfred Wegener Inst, HGF MPG Grp Deep Sea Ecol & Technol, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany.
5 : Max Planck Inst Marine Microbiol, D-28359 Bremen, Germany.
6 : IFREMER, Inst Carnot EDROME, RDT SI2M, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
7 : IFREMER, Inst Carnot EDROME, REM EEP, Lab Environm Profond, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
8 : Woods Hole Oceanog Inst, Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA.
Source Nature Communications (2041-1723) (Nature Publishing Group), 2014-11-11 , Vol. 5 , P. 1-8
DOI 10.1038/ncomms6385
WOS© Times Cited 33
Note FP6 ESONET (036851)
Abstract Submarine mud volcanoes are important sources of methane to the water column. However, the temporal variability of their mud and methane emissions is unknown. Methane emissions were previously proposed to result from a dynamic equilibrium between upward migration and consumption at the seabed by methane-consuming microbes. Here we show non-steady-state situations of vigorous mud movement that are revealed through variations in fluid flow, seabed temperature and seafloor bathymetry. Time series data for pressure, temperature, pH and seafloor photography were collected over 431 days using a benthic observatory at the active Hakon Mosby Mud Volcano. We documented 25 pulses of hot subsurface fluids, accompanied by eruptions that changed the landscape of the mud volcano. Four major events triggered rapid sediment uplift of more than a metre in height, substantial lateral flow of muds at average velocities of 0.4m per day, and significant emissions of methane and CO2 from the seafloor.
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Feseker Tomas, Boetius Antje, Wenzhofer Frank, Blandin Jerome, Olu Karine, Yoerger Dana R., Camilli Richard, German Christopher R., de Beer Dirk (2014). Eruption of a deep-sea mud volcano triggers rapid sediment movement. Nature Communications, 5, 1-8. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :