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A 3D seismic interpretation of mud volcanoes within the western slope of the Nile Cone

Kirkham, Christopher 2016. A 3D seismic interpretation of mud volcanoes within the western slope of the Nile Cone. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Mud volcanoes are found within a variety of settings both terrestrial and submarine around the world. The extrusion of mud forms topographic features at the surface that are representative of the focused release of fluids and mud and overpressure. An understanding of mud volcanoes is important for numerous reasons, which include, the insight they provide into overpressure systems and the presence of hydrocarbons, and their potential as a geological hazard. The research that is presented within this thesis focuses on a large number of mud volcanoes within the western slope of the Nile Cone, Eastern Mediterranean. The analysis of these mud volcanoes is based on interpretation using 3D seismic data. The core themes of this research involve analysing these mud volcanoes in order to better understand their geometry and seismic character, timing and distribution, source region and depletion zone, and understand the mechanisms behind the formation of their conduits and ultimately their extruded bodies. This research has led to the discovery of a suite of giant mud volcanoes that are irregular in shape and are among the largest to have been recorded thus far. These mud volcanoes formed directly on top of the Messinian evaporites within the western slope of the Nile Cone at the climax of the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Their interpretation presents significant evidence for a major overpressure release event at the end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis. As many as 386 smaller and conical mud volcanoes have also been interpreted within the western slope of the Nile Cone. Hosting such a large number of mud volcanoes, it could be argued that this region of the Eastern Mediterranean should be considered as amongst the largest mud volcano provinces in the world. Analysis of these mud volcano conduits, depletion zones and volumetric balance calculations, combined with evidence from published literature present a strong case for a pre-salt source for these mud volcanoes. This implies that significant volumes of mud and fluid have bypassed what many previously considered to be a near impermeable barrier.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 May 2016
Last Modified: 17 May 2017 01:30

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