Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 235–243

Gas-related sea floor craters in the Barents Sea

  • A. Solheim
  • A. Elverhøi

DOI: 10.1007/BF01207753

Cite this article as:
Solheim, A. & Elverhøi, A. Geo-Marine Letters (1993) 13: 235. doi:10.1007/BF01207753


A cluster of craterlike depressions in the central Barents Sea are several hundred meters across, have steep walls, and are cut into underlying Triassic rocks. Their formation is explained in relation to the glacial history of the region, and a possible model suggests that gas from a deeper, thermogenic source allowed a hydrate layer of considerable thickness to form during the Late Weichselian, when grounded ice covered the area and increased the hydrostatic pressure. After a rapid retreat of the marinebased ice sheet, the hydrates decomposed and the layer thinned rapidly until pressurized free gas, trapped below the hydrates, erupted and formed the sea-floor depressions.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Solheim
    • 1
  • A. Elverhøi
    • 2
  1. 1.Norwegian Polar InstituteOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of OsloOslo 3Norway

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