Geomechanical Characterization of Submarine Volcano-Flank Sediments, Martinique, Lesser Antilles Arc
Onshore-offshore geophysical studies conducted on Martinique have identified major flank collapse events of Montagne Pelée that generated large submarine mass wasting deposits. Here, we evaluate the preconditioning factors involved in the deformation and failure of marine sediments related to volcano-flank collapse events. We use core logging, sedimentological and geotechnical data of the upper 200 m of core at sites U1397, U1398, U1399 and U1400 drilled during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) expedition 340, west of Martinique. We find that the low hydraulic conductivity of hemipelagic sediment causes low rates of dewatering of turbidites and tephra layers allowing excess pore fluid pressures to persist at depth. Overpressure generation was likely enhanced during major flank collapses, leading to low shear strength and subsequent deformation of large volumes of marine sediments, as found at Site U1400.
KeywordsUndrained shear strength Consolidation properties Overpressure Sediment deformation Volcano-flank collapse Martinique
This research is based on shipboard data and core samples provided by IODP and is supported by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris. The authors thank University of Barcelona and M. Guart for use of laboratory facilities for grain size analyses. We thank J. Locat and N. Sultan for reviews.
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