Tracking California seafloor seeps with bathymetry, backscatter and ROVs

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Orange, D. L., Yun, J., Maher, N., Barry, J., & Greene, G. (2002). Tracking California seafloor seeps with bathymetry, backscatter and ROVs. Continental Shelf Research, 22(16), 2273-2290. doi:10.1016/S0278-4343(02)00054-7
TitleTracking California seafloor seeps with bathymetry, backscatter and ROVs
AuthorsL. Orange, J. Yun, N. Maher, J. Barry, G. Greene
AbstractThe California (USA) margin includes two different tectonic regimes: subduction north of the Mendocino Triple Junction and translation south. Both margins include seeps, and their distribution can be inferred using seafloor bathymetry and backscatter as well as subsurface seismic data. Anomalous bathymetric and backscatter features related to fluid expulsion include headless submarine canyons, fault zones, anticlines, pockmarks, and mud volcanoes. Anomalous backscatter may be caused by authigenic carbonate (related to the bacterial oxidation of methane) or cold seep clams - both have an impedance and roughness that may be higher than the surrounding seafloor. Remote-operated vehicle (ROV) dives to such suspect seep sites document the presence of extensive authigenic carbonate, a really restricted cold seep communities, carpets of chemoautotrophic bacteria, and bubbling gas. Our operations in the Monterey Bay, on the translational California margin, and the Eel River basin, on the convergent margin, indicate that bathymetric and backscatter maps of the seafloor, if sufficiently high resolution, can be used to map seep sites, and that the distribution of such seeps can be used to constrain subsurface conduits of fluid flow. ROVs, due to their combination of visualization, propulsion, manipulation, sonar, and navigation, provide an excellent platform for ground-truthing, mapping, and sampling seafloor seeps. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Start page2273
End page2290
Subjectsbathymetric survey, carbonate, chemosynthesis, cold seep, seafloor mapping, United States, Anguilliformes, Bacteria (microorganisms), Bivalvia
NoteCited By (since 1996):31, Rocks and cores, CODEN: CSHRD