Abstract

Logs collected while drilling measured density in situ, through the accretionary prism and decollement zone of the northern Barbados Ridge. Consolidation tests relate void ratio (derived from density) to effective stress and predict a fluid pressure profile, assuming that the upper 100 m of the prism is at a hydrostatic pressure gradient. The calculated fluid pressure curve rises to >90% of lithostatic below thrusts in the prism, presumably due to the increase in overburden and lateral tectonic loading. Thin (0.5–2.0 m) intervals of anomalously low density and resistivity in the logs through the basal decollement zone suggest dilation and perhaps hydrofracturing. A peak in hydraulic head in the upper half of the decollement zone requires lateral influx of fluid, a conclusion consistent with previous geochemical studies. Although the calculated fluid-pressure profile is model dependent, its inherent character ties to major structural features.

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