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The spatial pattern and drainage cell characteristics of a pockmark field, Nile Deep Sea Fan

Moss, J. L., Cartwright, Joseph Albert, Cartwright, Annabel and Moore, R. 2012. The spatial pattern and drainage cell characteristics of a pockmark field, Nile Deep Sea Fan. Marine and Petroleum Geology 35 (1) , pp. 321-336. 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2012.02.019

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Over 25,300 seabed pockmarks were mapped from the Rosetta Channel region of the Western NileDeepSeaFan (NDSF) using concurrent High Resolution 2D, Chirp profiler and multibeam bathymetry data which spans the Holocene–Pleistocene period. Within the region, apockmarkfield containing >13,800 pockmarks was analysed using spatial statistics to determine the distribution of pockmarks within the field. Pockmarks within the field are small (∼16 m diameter), shallow (∼0.5 m deep) circular depressions which formed within the last ∼ 6500 years. The fluid source for the field is identified as an accumulation/generation of gas beneath a hemipelagic seal c. 20–40 ms beneath the seabed. The position of the pockmarks is shown to be unrelated to the depth to the fluid source and an irregular high amplitude acoustic anomaly which is tentatively interpreted as a possible carbonate precipitate of biogenic microbial activity. Statistical spatial analysis of the field confirms the distribution of pockmarks is not random. An exclusion zone surrounding each individual pockmark is identified. The exclusion zone is a unique minimum radius around each pockmark which is not penetrated by any other pockmark. The exclusion zone works in unison with Self-Organised Criticality (SOC) in determining the spatial distribution of pockmarks within the field. The exclusion zone is interpreted as apockmark “drainagecell”. A conceptual model for apockmarkdrainagecell is proposed whereby pockmark formation dissipates a radius/area of fluid and overpressure, thereby preventing the formation of another pockmark within that cell. Consequently, pockmarks are observed to separate or produce anti-clustering tendencies within the field.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pockmark; Fluid migration; Overpressure; Self-Organised Criticality; Spatial distribution; Drainagecell
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0264-8172
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 02:15

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