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Pulsed oil discharge from a mud volcano

Ian R. MacDonald, David B. Buthman, William W. Sager, Michael B. Peccini and Norman L. Guinasso
Pulsed oil discharge from a mud volcano
Geology (Boulder) (October 2000) 28 (10): 907-910


In this paper we document instances where change in the magnitude of natural oil seepage coincided with fluctuations of fluid temperature in a seafloor mud volcano. Oil slicks were detected floating near commercial oil fields in the northern Gulf of Mexico in a time series of six satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images collected over a 10 month interval. The oil escaped naturally from a complex of fluid expulsion features at seafloor depths of about 600 m. One of these features was a 50-m-wide, mud- and brine-filled crater. Temperature in the crater fluctuated rapidly during an interval of approximately 1 yr (minimum 6.1 degrees C, maximum 48.3 degrees C, mean 26.1 degrees C, standard deviation 9.07). The areas of the oil slicks in the SAR images fluctuated repeatedly between <10 and >1000 ha. The largest oil slicks detected by SAR occurred along with the fastest increase in fluid temperature.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 28
Serial Issue: 10
Title: Pulsed oil discharge from a mud volcano
Affiliation: Texas A&M University, Geochemical and Environmental Research Group, College Station, TX, United States
Pages: 907-910
Published: 200010
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 23
Accession Number: 2000-073574
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sources
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N27°30'00" - N27°30'00", W92°45'00" - W92°15'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Unocal Corporation, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200023
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