Sediment Mixing in a Pockmark Field on the Chatham Rise, New Zealand – Implications for Paleoceanographic Reconstructions

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Paula S Rose1, J Kirk Cochran2, Christina Heilbrun2, Ingo Andreas Pecher3 and Richard B Coffin1, (1)Texas A & M University Corpus Christi, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, Corpus Christi, TX, United States, (2)SUNY StonyBrook, Stony Brook, NY, United States, (3)University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Pockmarks ranging in size from approximately 1 m to 10 km on the southwestern flank of the Chatham Rise, New Zealand are believed to result from gas hydrate dissociation linked to sea-level changes during glacial-interglacial cycles [1]. Geophysical profiles (seismic and multi-beam) collected in the pockmark field in January and February 2013 on the Chatham Rise onboard the RV Sonne (SO226) suggested past and present gas migration in the sediments. With the overall objectives of constraining the timescales for the pockmark formation and describing their formation mechanisms, sediment coring (multi and piston cores) targeted the gas escape features.

Surface sediments were collected using a multi-corer at water depths ranging from ~500 to 1000 m. Solid phase 210Pb (half-life = 22 y) and 14C (half-life = 5568 y) were measured in surface sediments (≤ 20 cm). Sediment mixing coefficients in the surface sediments calculated from excess 210Pb profiles ranged from 3 – 8 cm2 ky-1. Excess 210Pb penetration depths were ~ 8 cm in most cores. Generally, 14C profiles showed mixing depths similar to excess 210Pb but were greater in some locations. Sediment mixing and its potential effects on paleoceanographic reconstructions at these sites will be presented.

[1] Davy et al. (2010) Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L21309.