TitleStrike-slip faults mediate the rise of crustal-derived fluids and mud volcanism in the deep sea
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHensen C, Scholz F, Nuzzo M, Valadares V, Grácia E, Terrinha P, Liebetrau V, Kaul N, Silva S, Martínez-Loriente S, Bartolomé R, Piñero E, Magalhães VH, Schmidt M, Weise SM, Cunha M, Hilario A, Perea H, Rovelli L, Lackschewitz K
AbstractWe report on newly discovered mud volcanoes located at ∼4500 m water depth ∼90 km west of the deformation front of the accretionary wedge of the Gulf of Cadiz, and thus outside of their typical geotectonic environment. Seismic data suggest that fluid flow is mediated by a >400-km-long strike-slip fault marking the transcurrent plate boundary between Africa and Eurasia. Geochemical data (Cl, B, Sr, 87Sr/86Sr, $δ$18O, $δ$D) reveal that fluids originate in oceanic crust older than 140 Ma. On their rise to the surface, these fluids receive strong geochemical signals from recrystallization of Upper Jurassic carbonates and clay-mineral dehydration in younger terrigeneous units. At present, reports of mud volcanoes in similar deep-sea settings are rare, but given that the large area of transform-type plate boundaries has been barely investigated, such pathways of fluid discharge may provide an important, yet unappreciated link between the deeply buried oceanic crust and the deep ocean.