Marine Geophysical Researches

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 355–371 | Cite as

4D seismic time-lapse monitoring of an active cold vent, northern Cascadia margin

  • Michael RiedelEmail author
Original Research Paper


Two single-channel seismic (SCS) data sets collected in 2000 and 2005 were used for a four-dimensional (4D) time-lapse analysis of an active cold vent (Bullseye Vent). The data set acquired in 2000 serves as a reference in the applied processing sequence. The 4D processing sequence utilizes time- and phase-matching, gain adjustments and shaping filters to transform the 2005 data set so that it is most comparable to the conditions under which the 2000 data were acquired. The cold vent is characterized by seismic blanking, which is a result of the presence of gas hydrate in the subsurface either within coarser-grained turbidite sands or in fractures, as well as free gas trapped in these fracture systems. The area of blanking was defined using the seismic attributes instantaneous amplitude and similarity. Several areas were identified where blanking was reduced in 2005 relative to 2000. But most of the centre of Bullseye Vent and the area around it were seen to be characterized by intensified blanking in 2005. Tracing these areas of intensified blanking through the three-dimensional (3D) seismic volume defined several apparent new flow pathways that were not seen in the 2000 data, which are interpreted as newly generated fractures/faults for upward fluid migration. Intensified blanking is interpreted as a result of new formation of gas hydrate in the subsurface along new fracture pathways. Areas with reduced blanking may be zones where formerly plugged fractures that had trapped some free gas may have been opened and free gas was liberated.


4D seismic time-lapse imaging Seismic processing Gas hydrate Cold vent Fracture systems 



Integrated Ocean Drilling Program




Northeast Pacific time-series undersea networked experiments


Root-mean square


Single channel seismic


Two-way travel time









The author would like to acknowledge the important contributions of the Coast Guard crews onboard the research vessel John P. Tully and scientists involved in the data acquisition of the two data sets, especially George Spence and Ele Willoughby. Furthermore the author wants to acknowledge Seismic Micro Technology for the use of Kingdom Suite and Hampson & Russell for the use of the program PRO4D used in this analysis. Additional thanks go to Gilles Bellefleur, Mathieu Duchesne, and Ele Willoughby for many helpful suggestions, discussions and encouragements to carry out this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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