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Wenau, Stefan; Spieß, Volkhard; Pape, Thomas; Fekete, Noemi (2016): Bathymetry and multichannel reflection seismic data from the Lower Congo Basin. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Wenau, S et al. (2015): Cold seeps at the salt front in the Lower Congo Basin II: The impact of spatial and temporal evolution of salt-tectonics on hydrocarbon seepage. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 67, 880-893,

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This study investigates the distribution and evolution of seafloor seepage in the vicinity of the salt front, i.e., the seaward boundary of salt-induced deformation in the Lower Congo Basin (LCB). Seafloor topography, backscatter data and TV-sled observations indicate active fluid seepage from the seafloor directly at the salt front, whereas suspected seepage sites appear to be inactive at a distance of >10 km landward of the deformation front. High resolution multichannel seismic data give detailed information on the structural development of the area and its influence on the activity of individual seeps during the geologic evolution of the salt front region. The unimpeded migration of gas from fan deposits along sedimentary strata towards the base of the gas hydrate stability zone within topographic ridges associated with relatively young salt-tectonic deformation facilitates seafloor seepage at the salt front. Bright and flat spots within sedimentary successions suggest geological trapping of gas on the flanks of mature salt structures in the eastern part of the study area. Onlap structures associated with fan deposits which were formed after the onset of salt-tectonic deformation represent potential traps for gas, which may hinder gas migration towards seafloor seeps. Faults related to the thrusting of salt bodies seawards also disrupt along-strata gas migration pathways. Additionally, the development of an effective gas hydrate seal after the cessation of active salt-induced uplift and the near-surface location of salt bodies may hamper or prohibit seafloor seepage in areas of advanced salt-tectonic deformation. This process of seaward shifting active seafloor seepage may propagate as seaward migrating deformation affects Congo Fan deposits on the abyssal plain. These observations of the influence of the geologic evolution of the salt front area on seafloor seepage allows for a characterization of the large variety of hydrocarbon seepage activity throughout this compressional tectonic setting.
Median Latitude: -6.665394 * Median Longitude: 10.447106 * South-bound Latitude: -6.847480 * West-bound Longitude: 10.117370 * North-bound Latitude: -6.458170 * East-bound Longitude: 10.661680
Date/Time Start: 2008-06-15T20:27:00 * Date/Time End: 2009-06-19T08:43:00
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