South China Sea
30.03.2013 - 03.05.2013
Chief scientist:
Christian Berndt (25 attendees)

Southwest of Taiwan the passive continental margin of the South China Sea is subducted beneath the Philippine Plate. This results in a wide range of fluid and gas migration systems that form cold seeps at the surface. During this 31-day Sonne cruise we want to investigate the different fluid migration processes such as gas hydrate formation and dissociation that govern these fluid flow systems. The work will be in close collaboration with colleagues from Taiwan. The aim of the cruise is an improved understanding of the role of the tectonic settings on fluid migration in marine sediments and the interaction of the fluid flow systems with gas hydrate dynamics. Through the unique combination of a number of new methods (3D seismic, OBS, and CSEM experiments) we will derive a description of the fluid flow systems that is much higher in resolution than previous studies. Because the study area off Taiwan is characterized by well-constrained different structural geology (passive margin vs. active margin) and different gas sources (biogenic vs. thermogenic) while having the same kind of sediments in the gas and gas hydrate bearing stratigraphic intervals, we expect a step increase in our understanding of the involved geological constraints.