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The spatial and temporal distribution of pipe formation, offshore Namibia

Cartwright, Joseph Albert and Moss, Jennifer Leigh 2010. The spatial and temporal distribution of pipe formation, offshore Namibia. Marine and Petroleum Geology 27 (6) , pp. 1216-1234. 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.12.013

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A group of nearly 400 pipe structures from the continental slope of northern Namibia are analysed for their spatial and temporal distribution. The pipes most likely formed as a result of highly focused fluid venting, and understanding the factors controlling their distribution in space and time is key to their genesis. We analysed their spatio-temporal distribution using an arbitrary chronostratigraphic timescale, from which it is concluded that the pipes did not form at the same time. Pipe formation is shown to be intermittent and persistent, with 2–29 pipes forming in each of the >20 arbitrary time intervals that are considered to span the Neogene period. The spatial distribution of these pipes is clustered to dispersed. Spatial statistics conducted on the distribution of pipe formation timings have shown that two statistically significant groups of pipes exist within the population, (1) in the North and West and (2) in the South, with the former occurring prior to the latter. Locally, pipe formation is sporadic with clusters and outliers occurring during the same time period. A conceptual model is proposed whereby pipe formation in specific locations is the result of localised breaching of the seals for isolated pressure cells which are locally independent yet broadly controlled. An inferred basinal fluid source is thought to determine the broader patterns of pipe formation, and the focus of this fluid source shifts from North to South with time. At a local scale, multiple local factors interact producing a sporadic pipe formation distribution through a prolonged period of highly focused fluid migration. Once formed, the pipes continued to focus fluids intermittently, leading in some cases to later pockmark formation

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pipe ; Pockmark; Timing ; Fluid migration; Focused fluid flow ; Pipe formation ; Spatial and temporal distribution ; Spatio-temporal analysis
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0264-8172
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 02:14

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