Chapter

Mud Volcanoes, Geodynamics and Seismicity

Volume 51 of the series NATO Science Series pp 49-76

Styles and Productivity of Mud Diapirism along the Middle American Margin

Part II. Mound Culebra and Mounds 11 and 12
  • Tobias MoerzAffiliated withSonderforschungsbereich 574, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel
  • , Naomi FeketeAffiliated withSonderforschungsbereich 574, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel
  • , Achim KopfAffiliated withResearch Center Ocean Margins, University of Bremen
  • , Warner BrueckmannAffiliated withSonderforschungsbereich 574, Christian-Albrechts-University of KielGEOMAR
  • , Stefan KreiterAffiliated withTechnische Universität Berlin
  • , Veit HuehnerbachAffiliated withSouthampton Oceanography Centre, European Way
  • , Douglas MassonAffiliated withSouthampton Oceanography Centre, European Way
  • , Daniel A. HeppAffiliated withSonderforschungsbereich 574, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel
  • , Mark SchmidtAffiliated withSonderforschungsbereich 574, Christian-Albrechts-University of KielInstitute of Geosciences
    • , Steffen KutterolfAffiliated withSonderforschungsbereich 574, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel
    • , Heiko SahlingAffiliated withSonderforschungsbereich 574, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel
    • , Friedrich AbeggAffiliated withGEOMAR
    • , Volkhard SpiessAffiliated withResearch Center Ocean Margins, University of Bremen
    • , Erwin SuessAffiliated withSonderforschungsbereich 574, Christian-Albrechts-University of KielGEOMAR
    • , Cesar R. RaneroAffiliated withSonderforschungsbereich 574, Christian-Albrechts-University of KielGEOMAR

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Abstract

We present sedimentological and structural data and conceptual models for the evolution of two types of diapiric mud moundss offshore Costa Rica. Dozens of exposed mud mounds are found in the smooth domain of the margin with Mound Culebra being the most prominent example. Mound Culebra is a fault controlled feature with steep flanks (∼10–20°) and a lack of recent mud flows. The extruded material consists of overcompacted silty clay with signs of intense brittle deformation, brecciation, hydrofracturing and secondary perforation by closely spaced conduits. The southern rough domain is characterized by numerous local tectonic regimes linked to seamount subduction and the collision of the Cocos ridge all associated with diverse forms of venting. Diapirism seems to play only a minor role and Mound 11 and 12 are examples of fault controlled, low relief mud volcanoes with shallow-dipping flanks. Mud flow sequences, vent debris and the presence of gas hydrates in the shallow subsurface favor an episodic, gas driven eruption behavior.

Key words

Costa Rica margin mud diapirism mud volcanoes mud flows fluid conduits