Drilling into the deep interior of the Nankai accretionary prism: Preliminary results of IODP NanTroSEIZE Expedition 348

Friday, 19 December 2014
Takehiro Hirose, JAMSTEC, Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research, Nankoku City, Kochi, Japan, Harold J Tobin, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, United States, Demian M Saffer, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States, Sean Toczko, JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, CDEX, Kanagawa, Japan and Lena Maeda, JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kanagawa, Japan
International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 348, the latest advance of the NanTroSEIZE project, started on 13 September 2013 and was completed on 29 January 2014. During Expedition 348, the drilling vessel Chikyu advanced the ultra-deep riser hole at Site C0002, located 80 km offshore of the Kii Peninsula, from a depth of 860 meters below sea floor (mbsf) to 3058.5 mbsf, the world record for the deepest scientific ocean drilling, and cased it for future deepening. The drilling operation successfully obtained data on formation physical properties from logging while drilling (LWD) tools, as well as from lithological analyses of cuttings and core from the interior of the active accretionary prism at the Nankai Trough. IODP Site C0002 is the currently only borehole to access the deep interior of an active convergent margin.

Preliminary scientific results of Expedition 348 are as follows: (1) Fine-grained turbiditic mudstones with coarser silty and sandy interbeds, exhibiting steep dips (between ~60 and 90 degrees) are predominant in the prism down to ~3000 mbsf. The biostratigraphic age of the sediments in the lowermost part of the hole is thought to be 9–11 Ma, with an assumed age of accretion of 3–5 Ma. (2) Slickenlined surfaces, deformation bands and mineral veins are present throughout the drilled interval, while well-developed scaly clay fabrics are increasingly observed below ~2200 mbsf. A substantial fault zone with well-developed foliation was successfully cored from the deep interior of the prism at ~2205 mbsf. (3) Porosity generally decreases from ~60% to ~20% from the seafloor to 3000 mbsf. However, physical properties including grain density, electrical conductivity and P-wave velocity suggest fairly homogeneous properties in the interior of the prism between ~2000 and 3000 mbsf. (4) Mud gas analysis during the riser drilling indicates that a source of methane gas shifts from microbial origin to thermogenic at around 2325 mbsf. (5) The maximum horizontal principal stress at ~2200 mbsf is in the NE-SW direction. The inner wedge at ~ 2000 mbsf is currently in a strike-slip stress regime.