Abstract

Some pockmarks on the Norwegian continental shelf contain patches of cemented sediment that can provide hardgrounds attractive to a variety of benthonic organisms. Detailed examination of a sandstone sample from a pockmark in Norwegian Block 25/7 in the North Sea has revealed the presence of Mg calcite and aragonite cements, some of the latter forming botryoids. All cement types are characterized by extremely light carbon isotopic compositions, with a mean delta 13 C value of -56.1 per thousand PDB, which shows that the cements contain carbonate produced by oxidation of biogenic methane. Oxidation occurred in both the oxic and anoxic diagenetic zones. Trace amounts of interstitial methane (mean delta 13 C = -40.8% per thousand ) and higher hydrocarbon gases (up to C 5 ) with a C 1 /C n ratio of 0.855-0.874 in the pockmark sediments indicate that some thermogenic methane may be mixed with the biogenic gas.

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