Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 2-21

The Norwegian–Barents–Svalbard (NBS) continental margin: Introducing a natural laboratory of mass wasting, hydrates, and ascent of sediment, pore water, and methane

  • P. R. VogtAffiliated withCode 7420, Marine Geosciences Division, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Ave., Washington, DC 20375-5320, USA
  • , J. GardnerAffiliated withCode 7420, Marine Geosciences Division, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Ave., Washington, DC 20375-5320, USA
  • , K. CraneAffiliated withDept. of Geography, Hunter College, CUNY, 695 Park Ave., New York, USA

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Abstract

 Side-scan sonar mapping and ground-truthing of the Norwegian–Barents–Svalbard continental margin shed new light on shelf glaciation, mass wasting, hydrates, and features like the Håkon Mosby mud volcano (HMMV), reflecting upward mobility of gas, pore fluids, and sediments. Detailed HMMV examination revealed thermal gradients to 10°/m, bottom-water CH4 and temperature anomalies, H2S- and CH4-based chemosynthetic ecosystems, and subbottom methane hydrate (to 25%). Seismic and chemical data suggest HMMV origins at 2–3 km depth within the 6-km-thick depocenter. The HMMV and mound fields bordering the Bjørnøyrenna slide valley and pockmarks bordering the Storegga slide may all have formed in response to sediment failure.