Mud volcano growth by radial expansion: Examples from onshore Azerbaijan

Type Article
Date 2020-02
Language English
Author(s) Odonne Francis1, Imbert Patrice2, Dupuis Matthieu3, Aliyev Adil A.4, Abbasov Orhan R.4, Baloglanov Elnur E.4, Vendeville Bruno C.3, Gabalda Germinal1, Remy Dominique1, Bichaud Victoria1, Juste Rémy1, Pain Maëlys1, Blouin Arthur5, Dofal Anthony1, 3, Gertauda Mathieu1, 3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Géosciences Environnement Toulouse (GET), Observatoire Midi Pyrénées, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, IRD, UMR, 5563, 14 Avenue E. Belin, F31400, Toulouse, France
2 : TOTAL CSTJF, Avenue Larribau, 64000, Pau, France
3 : Univ. Lille, CNRS, Univ. Littoral Côte d’Opale, UMR 8187, LOG, Laboratoire d’Océanologie et de Géosciences, F 59000, Lille, France
4 : Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, H. Javid Avenue, 119, Baku, AZ1143, Azerbaijan
5 : IFREMER, REM/GM/LAD, Centre de Bretagne - ZI de la Pointe du Diable, F-29280, Plouzané, France
Source Marine And Petroleum Geology (0264-8172) (Elsevier BV), 2020-02 , Vol. 112 , P. 104051 (22p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2019.104051
WOS© Times Cited 6
Keyword(s) Flat-topped mud-volcanoes, Azerbaijan, Growth of flat mud volcanoes, Resistivity-gravity data, Low-density mud at depth, Mudflows stacking, Soft mud

We investigated the mode of growth of flat-topped mud volcanoes, through the study of three active edifices onshore Azerbaijan: they are the Bozdag-Guzdek, the Ayazakhtarma and the Akhtarma-Pashaly mud volcanoes. The three edifices are up to 80 m high and 3 km wide, and the recurrence time between eruptions from a few months to a few years. Surface changes during and between eruptions were documented by a combination of mapping from satellite pictures, repeated direct observation over five years and structural analysis. In addition, resistivity profiles and microgravity measurements were used to decipher their subsurface geometries. We interpret the flat-topped character of the mud volcanoes as the result of rapid “isostatic” readjustment of a brittle surface crust, < 1 m to tens of meters thick, overlying a ductile layer. The surface structure typically shows a concentric transition from an extensional regime in the vicinity of the emission center, to strike slip movements in a median ring, to a compressional regime with thrusts, and pop-up blocks or folds in the outer part of the plateau. Both the flat surface of these mud volcanoes and observed radial displacements of the surface, combined with the very low Bouguer anomaly of the Ayazakhtarma mud volcano, give arguments to propose that km-diameter, flat-topped mud volcanoes likely reflect the presence at a shallow depth (a few tens of meters?) of a large volume of soft mud. Rapid compaction at the surface forms a crust that moves away from a central feeding area, thereby transferring mud added at the center into lateral spreading, building a Coulomb prism all around the mud volcano and strongly limiting vertical buildup.

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Odonne Francis, Imbert Patrice, Dupuis Matthieu, Aliyev Adil A., Abbasov Orhan R., Baloglanov Elnur E., Vendeville Bruno C., Gabalda Germinal, Remy Dominique, Bichaud Victoria, Juste Rémy, Pain Maëlys, Blouin Arthur, Dofal Anthony, Gertauda Mathieu (2020). Mud volcano growth by radial expansion: Examples from onshore Azerbaijan. Marine And Petroleum Geology, 112, 104051 (22p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :