Passive continental margins such as the Atlantic seaboard of Europe are important for society as they contain large energy resources, and they sustain ecosystems that are the basis for the commercial fish stock.
The margin sediments are very dynamic environments. Fluids are expelled from compacting sediments, bottom water temperature changes cause gas hydrate systems to change their location, and occasionally large magmatic intrusions boil the pore water within the sedimentary basins, which is then expelled to the surface. The fluids that seep through the seabed at the top of focused fluid flow systems play not only a crucial role for seabed ecology, but study of such fluid flow systems can also help predicting the distribution of hydrocarbons in the subsurface, and deciphering the climate record. Therefore, the study of focused fluid flow research will become one of the most important fields in marine geology in the future.
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