Late Pliocene mega debris flow deposit and related fluid escapes identified on the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin by seismic reflection data analysis
P. Diviacco, M. Rebesco, A. Camerlenghi, 2016. "Late Pliocene mega debris flow deposit and related fluid escapes identified on the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin by seismic reflection data analysis", Seismic Diffraction, Kamil Klem-Musatov, Henning Hoeber, Michael Pelissier, Tijmen Jan Moser
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We have obtained improved images of a debris flow deposit through the reprocessing of multichannel seismic reflection data between Drifts 6 and 7 of the continental rise of the Pacific margin of the Antarctic Peninsula. The reprocessing, primarily aimed at the reduction of noise, relative to amplitude preservation, deconvolution, also included accurate velocity analyses. The deposit is dated as upper Pliocene (nearly 3.0 Ma) via correlation to Sites 1095 and 1096 of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 178. The estimated volume is about 1800 km3 and the inferred provenance from the continental slope implies a run out distance exceeding 250 km. The dramatic mass-wasting event that produced this deposit, unique in the sedimentary history of this margin, is related to widespread late Pliocene margin erosion. This was associated with a catastrophic continental margin collapse, following the Antarctic ice sheet expansion in response to global cooling. The seismic data analysis also allowed us to identify diffractions and amplitude anomalies interpreted as expressions of sedimentary mounds at the seafloor overlying narrow high-velocity zones that we interpret as conduits of fluid expulsion hosting either methane hydrates or authigenic carbonates. Fluid expulsion was triggered by loading of underlying sediments by the debris flow deposits and may have continued until today by input of fluids from sediment compaction following the deep diagenesis of biogenic silica.
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The use of diffraction imaging to complement the seismic reflection method is rapidly gaining momentum in the oil and gas industry. As the industry moves toward exploiting smaller and more complex conventional reservoirs and extensive new unconventional resource plays, the application of the seismic diffraction method to image sub-wavelength features such as small-scale faults, fractures and stratigraphic pinchouts is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years. “Seismic Diffraction” covers seismic diffraction theory, modeling, observation, and imaging. Papers and discussion include an overview of seismic diffractions, including classic papers which introduced the potential of diffraction phenomena in seismic processing; papers on the forward modeling of seismic diffractions, with an emphasis on the theoretical principles; papers which describe techniques for diffraction mathematical modeling as well as laboratory experiments for the physical modeling of diffractions; key papers dealing with the observation of seismic diffractions, in near-surface-, reservoir-, as well as crustal studies; and key papers on diffraction imaging.