TitleFluid seepage and mound formation offshore Costa Rica revealed by deep-towed sidescan sonar and sub-bottom profiler data
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsPetersen CJörg, Klaucke I, Weinrebe W, Ranero CR
JournalMarine Geology
Date Publishedoct
Keywordscarbonate, deep-towed side-scan sonar, fluid seepage, mound, mud diapir, sub-bottom profiler
AbstractOur analysis of geoacoustic data from the Middle American margin provides an insight into the formation and evolution mechanisms of mound structures observed on the continental slope offshore Costa Rica. Based on high-resolution deep-towed sidescan sonar and sub-bottom profiler (SBP) data six different mound and fluid seepage structures at the Hongo mound field are characterized in detail. The Hongo mound field is located on the lower continental slope offshore Nicoya peninsula in the prolongation of the subducting Nicoya fracture zone. The mounds have oval to circular shapes with diameters of 500-1600 m and relief heights of 60-100 m. High backscatter anomalies near the mound summits indicate carbonate precipitation and focused fluid seepage activity within the last 10 ka. The data do not show evidence for mud extrusions and the structures were probably formed by a combination of carbonate precipitation and mud diapirism. Based on seismic stratigraphy analysis, mud diapirism is at least active since 42.5-57 ka and average vertical growth rates vary between 6-24 cm/ka. However, if diapirism represents the dominant mound evolution mechanism, mound heights of 80 m point to much older mound ages of 330-1330 ka. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.