Geological controls on focused fluid flow through the gas hydrate stability zone on the southern Hikurangi Margin of New Zealand, evidenced from multi-channel seismic data

G. J. Crutchley, Andrew Gorman, S. Toulmin, Ingo Pecher, S. A. Henrys

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)
    13 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Highly concentrated gas hydrate deposits are likely to be associated with geological features that promote increased fluid flux through the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). We conduct conventional seismic processing techniques and full-waveform inversion methods on a multi-channel seismic line that was acquired over a 125 km transect of the southern Hikurangi Margin off the eastern coast of New Zealand's North Island. Initial processing, employed with an emphasis on preservation of true amplitude information, was used to identify three sites where structures and stratal fabrics likely encourage focused fluid flow into and through the GHSZ. At two of the sites, Western Porangahau Trough and Eastern Porangahau Ridge, sub-vertical blanking zones occur in regions of intensely deformed sedimentary layering. It is interpreted that increased fluid flow occurs in these regions and that fluids may dissipate upwards and away from the deformed zone along layers that trend towards the seafloor. At Eastern Porangahau Ridge we also observe a coherent bottom simulating reflection (BSR) that increases markedly in intensity with proximity to the centre of the anticlinal ridge. 1D full-waveform inversions conducted at eight points along the BSR reveal much more pronounced low-velocity zones near the centre of the ridge, indicating a local increase in the flux of gas-charged fluids into the anticline. At another anticline, Western Porangahau Ridge, a dipping high-amplitude feature extends from the BSR upwards towards the seafloor within the regional GHSZ. 1D full-waveform inversions at this site reveal that the dipping feature is characterised by a high-velocity zone overlying a low-velocity zone, which we interpret as gas hydrates overlying free gas. These results support a previous interpretation that this high-amplitude feature represents a local "up-warping" of the base of hydrate stability in response to advective heat flow from upward migrating fluids. These three sites provide examples of geological frameworks that encourage prolific localised fluid flow into the hydrate system where it is likely that gas-charged fluids are converting to highly concentrated hydrate deposits.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1915-1931
    Number of pages17
    JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
    Volume28
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

    Keywords

    • Anticline
    • Blanking zone
    • Fluid flow
    • Gas hydrate
    • Hikurangi Margin
    • Waveform inversion

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Geological controls on focused fluid flow through the gas hydrate stability zone on the southern Hikurangi Margin of New Zealand, evidenced from multi-channel seismic data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this