Acoustic Investigations of Gas and Gas Hydrate Formations, Offshore Southwestern Black Sea*
Abstract:The Black Sea is a large intercontinental back-arc basin with relatively high sedimentation rate. The basin was formed as two different sub-basins divided by Mid-Black Sea Ridge. The ridge is completely buried today and the Black Sea became a single basin in the early Miocene that is currently anoxic. Recent acoustic investigations in the Black Sea indicate potential for gas hydrate formation and gas venting.
A total of 2500 km multichannel seismic, Chirp sub-bottom profiler and multibeam bathymetry data were collected during three different expeditions in 2010 and 2012 along the southwestern margin of the Black Sea. Box core sediment samples were collected for gas cromatography analysis. Wide spread BSRs and multiple BSRs are observed in the seismic profiles and may be categorized into two different types: cross-cutting BSRs (transecting sedimentary strata) and amplitude BSRs (enhanced reflections). Both types mimic the seabed reflection with polarity reversal. Some undulations of the BSR are observed along seismic profiles probably caused by local pressure and/or temperature changes. Shallow gas sources and chimney vents are clearly indicated by bright reflection anomalies in the seismic data. Gas cromatography results indicate the presence of methane and various components of heavy hydrocarbons, including Hexane. These observations suggest that the gas forming hydrate in the southwestern Black Sea may originate from deeper thermogenic hydrocarbon sources.
* This study is supported by 2214-A programme of The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK).