Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 140–149 | Cite as

Mud volcanoes and gas vents in the Okhotsk Sea area

  • Renat Shakirov
  • Anatoly Obzhirov
  • Erwin Suess
  • Anatoly Salyuk
  • Nicole Biebow


Gas emissions from mud volcanoes on Sakhalin Island and water-column gas flares arising from cold seeps in the Okhotsk Sea appear to be related. They are likely activated by tectonic movements along the transform plate boundary separating the Okhotsk Sea Plate from the Eurasian and Amur plates. Gas vents (flares) and methane anomalies occur in the waters offshore Sakhalin Island, along with NE-SW-trending mounds and fluid escape structures on the seafloor. The intersection of the NE-striking transverse faults on land with the Central Sakhalin and Hokkaido-Sakhalin shear zones apparently determines the sites of mud volcanoes, a pattern that continues offshore where the intersection with the East Sakhalin and West Derugin shear zones determines the sites of the submarine gas vents.



The field expedition was carried out with funding from the Russian Fund of Fundamental Investigations, grant 01-05-64904a, and in cooperation with the program Integracia, grant E0252; the recipient of these grants is Dr. A.S. Astakhov, POI FEB RAS. The marine gas investigations were carried out within the framework of the German-Russian cooperative project KOMEX, grant 03G0535, jointly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Science. We are grateful for their financial support, which made this study possible. The manuscript benefited greatly from helpful reviews by Keith Kvenvolden and Bob Garrison. We greatly thank all Russian and German scientists who participated in the project KOMEX, especially R. Kulinich, B. Baranov, J. Greinert, B. Karp, and O. Vereshchagina.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renat Shakirov
    • 1
  • Anatoly Obzhirov
    • 1
  • Erwin Suess
    • 2
  • Anatoly Salyuk
    • 1
  • Nicole Biebow
    • 3
  1. 1.V.I. Il’ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RASVladivostokRussia
  2. 2.Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR)KielGermany
  3. 3.Tethys Geoconsulting GmbHKielGermany

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