Dynamics of the Ocean Floor

Investigating a dynamic gas hydrate system in disequilibrium in the Danube Delta, Black Sea

Funding:  Industry 

Gas hydrates are known to be extensive across the Danube Delta, as indicated by the presence of bottom simulating reflections (BSRs). The shelf break in this region is characterised by several incised submarine canyons, the largest of which is the Viteaz Canyon, and numerous slope failures. BSRs often coincide with submarine landslides, and it has been proposed that hydrates may play a role in triggering, or facilitating such events. This study focuses on a seafloor canyon (the S2 Canyon) to the north-east of the main Viteaz Canyon, where geophysical survey data and sediment cores were acquired in 2014. Active venting from the seafloor is known to be occurring at this site as multiple flares were been imaged in the water column. The location of these flares coincides with a significant slope failure adjacent to the canyon, and some can be correlated to subsurface gas chimneys, indicating a complex ‘plumbing system’ of gas migration pathways. This site is of particular interest as the ‘present-day’ BSR imaged in seismic data is not at equilibrium with the present-day seafloor conditions.



Dr. Jörg Bialas

Phone: +49 431 600-2329
Email: jbialas@geomar.de