A GEOPHYSICAL STUDY OF A POCKMARK IN THE NYEGGA REGION, NORWEGIAN SEA Jose, Tesmi; Minshull, T.A.; Westbrook, Graham K.; Nouzé, Hervé; Ker, Stephan; Gailler, Audrey; Exley, Russell; Berndt, Christian
Over the last decade pockmarks have proven to be important seabed features that provide information about fluid flow on continental margins. Their formation and dynamics are still poorly constrained due to the lack of proper three dimensional imaging of their internal structure. Numerous fluid escape features provide evidence for an active fluid-flow system on the Norwegian margin, specifically in the Nyegga region. In June-July 2006 a high-resolution seismic experiment using Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) was carried out to investigate the detailed 3D structure of a pockmark named G11 in the region. An array of 14 OBS was deployed across the pockmark with 1 m location accuracy. Shots fired from surface towed mini GI guns were also recorded on a near surface hydrophone streamer. Several reflectors of high amplitude and reverse polarity are observed on the profiles indicating the presence of gas. Gas hydrates were recovered with gravity cores from less than a meter below the seafloor during the cruise. Indications of gas at shallow depths in the hydrate stability field show that methane is able to escape through the water-saturated sediments in the chimney without being entirely converted into gas hydrate. An initial 2D raytraced forward model of some of the P wave data along a line running NE-SW across the G11 pockmark shows, a gradual increase in velocity between the seafloor and a gas charged zone lying at ~300 m depth below the seabed. The traveltime fit is improved if the pockmark is underlain by velocities higher than in the surrounding layer corresponding to a pipe which ascends from the gas zone, to where it terminates in the pockmark as seen in the reflection profiles. This could be due to the presence of hydrates or carbonates within the sediments.
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