This paper is part of the special publication Gas hydrates: relevance to world margin stability and climatic change (eds J.P. Henriet and J. Mienert). An irregular, faulted, collapse depression about 38 x 18 km in extent is located on the crest of the Blake Ridge offshore from the south- eastern United States. Faults disrupt the sea floor and terminate or sole out about 40-500 m below the sea floor at the base of the gas hydrate stable zone, which is identified from the location of the bottom simulating reflection (BSR). Normal faults are common but reverse faults and folds also are widespread. Folds commonly convert upward into faults. Sediment diapirs and deposits of sediments that were erupted onto the sea floor are also present. Sea-floor depressions at faults may represent locations of liquid/gas vents. The collapse was probably caused by overpressures and by the decoupling of the overlying sediments by gassy muds that existed just beneath the zone of gas hydrate stability.
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Evidence for faulting related to dissociation of gas hydrate and release of methane off the southeastern United States