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Pockmarks: self-scouring seep features?

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Abstract

Pockmarks, or seafloor craters, occur worldwide in a variety of geologic settings and are often associated with fluid discharge. The mechanisms responsible for pockmark preservation, and pockmarks? relation to active methane venting are not well constrained. Simple numerical simulations run in 2-and 3-dimensions, and corroborated by flume tank experiments, indicate turbulence may play a role in pockmark maintenance, and, potentially, in pockmark excavation. Morphological analysis of the pockmarks indicates an abundance of flat-bottomed and/or elongated pockmarks. Pockmarks transition into furrows as the bay narrows and tidal flow is enhanced, providing unmistakable evidence of post-formation evolution. We hypothesize that some pockmarks formed from seafloor perturbations (e.g., gas or methane discharge), are1 maintained and gradually modified by vortical flow. This hypothesis provides a mechanism for pockmark preservation and enlargement without active fluid venting, which has implications for the interpretation of seafloor seep features in gas hydrates areas.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Pockmarks: self-scouring seep features?
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher ICGH
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Gas Hydrates
Conference Title 7th International Conference on Gas Hydrates
Conference Location Edinburgh, Scotland
Conference Date July 17-21 2011
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N