Evidence of methane venting and geochemistry of brines on mud volcanoes of the eastern Mediterranean

J.-L. Charlou, J.-P. Donval, T. Zitter, N. Roy, P. Jean Baptiste, J.P. Foucher, J.M. Woodside, Party Medinaut

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    As a part of the Dutch-French MEDINAUT diving expedition in 1998, cold seeps and mud volcanoes were studied and sampled in two distinctive tectonic settings in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The first setting was the Olimpi Mud Volcano field (OMV area), including Napoli, Milano, Maidstone and Moscow mud volcanoes, south of Crete on the Mediterranean ridge. The second setting was the Anaximander Mountains (AM area), southwestern Turkey, where Amsterdam, Kazan and Kula mud volcanoes were explored. Large methane concentrations (45-892 nmol/kg) were measured in the water column not only above mud volcanoes but also in seeps and vents along related fault systems, indicating intense degassing related to fluid circulation in sediments. The tracer results show that there is considerable variability in terms of gas seepage and matter flux between these mud volcanoes. Brine accumulations found as shallow pools on Napoli or associated with deep faults (Nadir Lake) outside mud volcanoes exhibit variable chlorinity, mineral and gas composition. The brines are significantly enriched in δ
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)941-958
    JournalDeep-Sea Research Part 1. Oceanographic Research Papers
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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