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Title: Shallow gas and the development of a weak layer in submarine spreading, Hikurangi margin (New Zealand)
Other Titles: Submarine mass movements and their consequences
Authors: Micallef, Aaron
Mountjoy, Joshu J.
Krastel, Sebastian
Crutchley, Gareth
Koch, Stephanie
Keywords: Submarine geology -- Research
Submarine topography -- New Zealand
Geomorphology -- Research
Sediments (Geology) -- Analysis
Sedimentology -- New Zealand
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Micallef, A., Mountjoy, J. J., Krastel, S., Crutchley, G., & Koch, S. (2016). Shallow gas and the development of a weak layer in submarine spreading, Hikurangi margin (New Zealand). In G. Lamarche, J. Mountjoy, S. Bull, T. Hubble, S. Krastel, E. Lane, A. Micallef, L. Moscardelli, C. Mueller, I. Pecher, & S. Woelz (Eds.), Submarine Mass Movements and their Consequences (pp. 419-426). Cham: Springer.
Abstract: Submarine spreading is a type of mass movement that involves the extension and fracturing of a thin surficial layer of sediment into coherent blocks and their finite displacement on a gently sloping slip surface. Its characteristic seafloor signature is a repetitive pattern of parallel ridges and troughs oriented perpendicular to the direction of mass movement. We map ~30 km2 of submarine spreads on the upper slope of the Hikurangi margin, east of Poverty Bay, North Island, New Zealand, using multibeam echosounder and 2D multichannel seismic data. These data show that spreading occurs in thin, gently-dipping, parallel-bedded clay, silt and sandy sedimentary units deposited as lowstand clinoforms. More importantly, high-amplitude and reverse polarity seismic reflectors, which we interpret as evidence of shallow gas accumulations, occur extensively in the fine sediments of the upper continental slope, but are either significantly weaker or entirely absent where the spreads are located. We use this evidence to propose that shallow gas, through the generation of pore pressure, has played a key role in establishing the failure surface above which submarine spreading occurred. Additional dynamic changes in pore pressure could have been triggered by a drop in sea level during the Last Glacial Maximum and seismic loading.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSciGeo

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