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Flare-Shaped Acoustic Anomalies in the Water Column Along the Ecuadorian Margin: Relationship with Active Tectonics and Gas Hydrates

Abstract : With hull-mounted multibeam echosounder data, wereport for the first time along the active Ecuadorian margin,acoustic signatures of water column fluid emissions and seep-relatedstructures on the seafloor. In total 17 flare-shaped acousticanomalies were detected from the upper slope (1250 m) to the shelfbreak (140 m). Nearly half of the flare-shaped acoustic anomaliesrise 200–500 m above the seafloor. The base of the flares is generallyassociated with high-reflectivity backscatter patchescontrasting with the neighboring seafloor. We interpret these flaresas caused by fluid escape in the water column, most likely gases.High-resolution seismic profiles show that most flares occur closeto the surface expression of active faults, deformed areas, slopeinstabilities or diapiric structures. In two areas tectonic deformationdisrupts a Bottom Simulating Reflector (BSR), suggesting thatburied frozen gas hydrates are destabilized, thus supplying free gasemissions and related flares. This discovery is important as it opensthe way to determine the nature and origin of the emitted fluids andtheir potential link with the hydrocarbon system of the forearcbasins along the Ecuadorian margin.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-01267238
Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 10:32:16 AM
Last modification on : Monday, September 14, 2020 - 8:59:39 PM

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François Michaud, Jean-Noël Proust, Alexandre Dano, Jean-Yves Collot, Grâce Daniella Guiyeligou, et al.. Flare-Shaped Acoustic Anomalies in the Water Column Along the Ecuadorian Margin: Relationship with Active Tectonics and Gas Hydrates. Pure and Applied Geophysics, Springer-Verlag, 2016, 173 (10-11), pp.3291-3303. ⟨10.1007/s00024-015-1230-7⟩. ⟨insu-01267238⟩

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