Funds are provided to the PIs from three oceanographic institutions for a collaborative project to investigate fluid expulsion processes in the large-scale elongated gas blowouts, offshore Virginia and North Carolina. Large-scale evacuations resulting from massive gas expulsion were discovered offshore in the area in year 2000. Progressive downslope creep within the shelf-edge delta was considered to be responsible for updip movement of gas and its eventual expulsion. The PIs will undertake a new shipboard program to acquire high-resolution multibeam bathymetric data over the blowout sites, survey suspected fluid discharge sites, and collect gravity cores from shelf edge delta for age control and sediment and pore-water samples. The objective of the study is to determine if there is present-day discharge of gas-rich fluids through the floors or sidewalls of the blowouts, or whether these seepage sites and relict features. The study will contribute to knowledge of methane venting processes on the margins, which have climatic, geotechnical, hazards and resource implications.
University of California, Scripps; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
National Science Foundation