Mud volcanos and mud domes of the central Mediterranean Ridge: near bottom and in situ observations

C. Huguen, J. Mascle, J.M. Woodside, T.A.C. Zitter, J.-P. Foucher

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The first high-resolution mapping of mud volcanoes and mud domes of the Central Mediterranean Ridge (Eastern Mediterranean) presented here is based on successive in situ observations from the Nautile submersible [MEDINAUT (1998) and NAUTINIL (2003) surveys] and near-bottom side-scan sonar data (MEDINETH cruise, 1999). Data were obtained over two types of clay-kinetic-related features previously identified south of Crete: the Olimpi field mud volcanoes and the Southern belt mud domes, characterized by highly contrasting morpho-acoustic characteristics. Using the new data we can better define the morphological and backscatter characteristics of both mud volcanoes and mud domes and illustrate their similarities and differences; and establish ground truth, in terms of the presence or not of mud flows, diagenetic carbonate pavements, active seepage and macro-and microbiology. This study reveals strong contrasts between: (1) large mud volcanoes, made of successive mud flows, and associated with diagenetic carbonates and fluid venting activity, and (2) smaller mud domes, characterized by steep slopes affected by sedimentary instabilities, and without any evidence of mud flow, specific fluid seepage activity, authigenic carbonate pavement, or biologic communities. From these results we demonstrate a strong variability of clay-kinetic structures from the central domain of the Mediterranean Ridge accretionary complex to its northern thrust boundary against the Cretan continental backstop. From an integration of the high-resolution results to the Mediterranean Ridge geologic and structural settings, a qualitative model is finally proposed to explain the mud volcano and mud dome emplacement. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1911-1931
    Number of pages21
    JournalDeep-Sea Research Part 1. Oceanographic Research Papers
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    Dive into the research topics of 'Mud volcanos and mud domes of the central Mediterranean Ridge: near bottom and in situ observations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this