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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-10-12
    Description: The active channel–levee system of the middle Bengal Fan was studied by a combined analysis of Parasound echosounder and Hydrosweep swathsounder data. The channel is characterized by highly variable sinuosities. Compared to other mud-rich submarine fans, an exceptionally low channel slope is found. The system can be subdivided into inner and outer zones of significantly different depositional architecture. The inner zone consists of the active channel and sharply separated vertical blocks, which are characterized by parallel, distinct reflectors and planforms of bends. These blocks are interpreted as abandoned channel segments (cut-off loops). The outer zones represent undisturbed levees, which are constructed of parallel and wedge-shaped sedimentary units. The wedge-shaped units, varying significantly in thickness and lateral extent, are found at the outer convex arcs of active and abandoned channel loops caused by overspilling of channelized turbidity currents at sharp bends. The parallel units are the deposits of turbidity currents, which spread their sediments over wide areas as their size significantly exceeds the cross-section of the channel. The complex vertical and horizontal distribution of partially small sedimentary units suggests a more complicated deposition in time and space as hitherto reported from other submarine fans. Within the inner zone, more than 20 cut-off loops were identified over a channel length of 90 km. In contrast to most other large mud-rich submarine fans, channel avulsion within the active channel–levee system is a frequent process. In particular, a temporal succession of at least 4 cut-off loops was reconstructed in the southern study area, indicating channel avulsion on average every 750 years. Channel avulsion seems to be a repetitious process caused by erosion through turbidite currents in a highly sinuous channel. Compared to other submarine fans, no morphological parameter shows a remarkable difference except the channel slope, which is significantly smaller than, for example, on Amazon, Congo and Mississippi fans. The interaction between this low channel slope and the flow parameter of the turbidity currents is most likely the reason for the instability of the active channel planform, leading to an exceptionally large number of meander loop breaches and cut-off loops.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-04-25
    Description: The 1.5-km-high, obliquely subducting Nazca Ridge and its collision zone with the Peruvian margin have been imaged by wide-angle and reflection seismic profiles, swath bathymetry, and gravity surveying. These data reveal that the crust of the ridge at its northeastern tip is 17 km thick and exhibits seismic velocities and densities similar to layers 2 and 3 of typical oceanic crust. The lowermost layer contributes 10–12 km to the total crustal thickness of the ridge. The sedimentary cover is 300–400 m thick on most parts of the ridge but less than 100 m thick on seamounts and small volcanic ridges. At the collision zone of ridge and margin, the following observations indicate intense tectonic erosion related to the passage of the ridge. The thin sediment layer on the ridge is completely subducted. The lower continental slope is steep, dipping at ∼9°, and the continental wedge has a high taper of 18°. Tentative correlation of model layers with stratigraphy derived from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 112 cores suggests the presence of Eocene shelf deposits near the trench. Continental basement is located 〈15 km landward of the trench. Normal faults on the upper slope and shelf indicate extension. A comparison with the Peruvian and northern Chilean forearc systems, currently not affected by ridge subduction, suggests that the passage of the Nazca Ridge along the continental margin induces a temporarily limited phase of enhanced tectonic erosion superposed on a long-term erosive regime.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2012-02-23
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 4
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    In:  [Talk] In: Magellan Workshop Series, 10.10, Hamburg .
    Publication Date: 2012-02-23
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2015-01-14
    Type: Report , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1437-3262
    Keywords: Key words Cascadia accretionary prism ; Very high-resolution seismics ; Fluid migration ; Bottom simulating reflector ; Near-surface reflectivity anomalies
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences
    Notes: Abstract  A high-resolution seismic survey was carried out at the accretionary prism on the continental slope off Vancouver Island, Canada. Two GI-Gun data sets with different source frequency ranges of 50–150 and 100–500 Hz were combined with 4 kHz narrow-beam echosounding data (Parasound). The data allow spatial correlation between a gas hydrate bottom simulating reflector (BSR) and distinct areas of high near-sea-floor reflectivity. An integrated interpretation of the multi-frequency data set provides insight into the regional distribution of tectonically induced fluid migration and gas hydrate formation in the vicinity of ODP Leg 146 Sites 889 and 890. The BSR at the base of the gas hydrate stability field is observed within accreted and deformed sediments, but appears to be absent within bedded slope basin deposits. It is suggested that these basin deposits inhibit vertical fluid flow and prevent the formation of a BSR, whereas the hydraulic conductivity of the accreted sediments is sufficiently high to allow for pervasive gas migration. An elevation of the BSR beneath the flanks of a topographic high is interpreted as an indicator for local upflow of warm fluids along permeable pathways within outcropping accreted sediments. Parasound data reveal discontinuous zones of high reflectivity at or directly beneath the sea floor, which may indicate local cementation of surface sediments. In combination with GI-Gun data, the occurrence of these reflective areas can be related to the location of slope sedimentary basins acting as hydraulic seals. It is proposed that the seals sometimes fail along faults extending beneath the BSR, leading to focused upflow of methane-bearing fluid and the formation of carbonate pavements at the sea floor.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1573-0581
    Keywords: Bengal Shelf ; seismic stratigraphy ; Parasound ; Late Quaternary ; subaqueous delta ; lowstand delta
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract An ultra-high-resolution seismic study of the eastern Bengal Shelf with the parametric narrow-beam echosounder Parasound allows the interpretation of late Quaternary depositional patterns in terms of seismic stratigraphy. Accommodation space was still present on the outer shelf during the last lowstand, where a prograding delta developed in the western survey area. Oolitic beach ridges were later formed on top of this lowstand delta. Farther east, large parts of the shelf were exposed to subaerial erosion and a river system extended seaward across the area. A subaqueous highstand delta prograded southwards following the maximum transgression about 7,000 years ago. Its foreset beds exhibit acoustic voids very likely generated by sediment liquefaction, possibly caused by episodic energetic events such as major cyclones and/or earthquakes. Bottomset sediments extend seaward close to the shelf break in the west, whereas no Holocene sediments cover the outer shelf in the east.
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  • 8
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    In:  [Talk] In: Tectonic Crossroads: Evolving Orogens of Eurasia-Africa-Arabia, 04.-08.10.2010, Ankara, Turkey .
    Publication Date: 2012-12-19
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 9
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    In:  [Talk] In: Jahrestagung der DGG, 08.03, Bremen .
    Publication Date: 2012-02-23
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2016-11-15
    Description: Bottom-simulating reflections (BSRs) are probably the most commonly used indicators for gas hydrates in marine sediments. It is now widely accepted that BSRs are primarily caused by free gas beneath gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. However, our insight into BSR formation to date is mostly limited to theoretical studies. Two endmember processes have been suggested to supply free gas for BSR formation: (i) dissociation of gas hydrates and (ii) migration of methane from below. During a recent campaign of the German Research Vessel Sonne off the shore of Peru, we detected BSRs at locations undergoing both tectonic subsidence and non-sedimentation or seafloor erosion. Tectonic subsidence (and additionally perhaps seafloor erosion) causes the base of gas hydrate stability to migrate downward with respect to gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. This process rules out dissociation of gas hydrates as a source of free gas for BSRs at these locations. Instead, free gas at BSRs is predicted to be absorbed into the gas hydrate stability zone. BSRs appear to be confined to locations where the subsurface structure suggests focusing of fluid flow. We investigated the seafloor at one of these locations with a TV sled and observed fields of rounded boulders and slab-like rocks, which we interpreted as authigenic carbonates. Authigenic carbonates are precipitations typically found at cold vents with methane expulsion. We retrieved a small carbonate-cemented sediment sample from the seafloor above a BSR about 20 km away. This supported our interpretation that the observed slabs and boulders were carbonates. All these observations suggest that BSRs in Lima Basin are maintained predominantly by gas that is supplied from below, demonstrating that this endmember process for BSR formation exists in nature. Results from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 112 showed that methane for gas hydrate formation on the Peru lower slope and the methane in hydrocarbon gases on the upper slope is mostly of biogenic origin. The δ13C composition of the recovered carbonate cement was consistent with biologic methane production below the seafloor (although possibly above the BSR). We speculate that the gas for BSR formation in Lima Basin also is mainly biogenic methane. This would suggest the biologic productivity beneath the gas hydrate zone in Lima Basin to be relatively high in order to supply enough methane to maintain BSRs.
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