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Evidence of episodic long-lived eruptions in the Yuma, Ginsburg, Jesús Baraza and Tasyo mud volcanoes, Gulf of Cádiz

AuthorsToyos, María H.; Medialdea, Teresa; León, Ricardo; Somoza, Luis; González Sanz, Francisco Javier; Meléndez, Nieves
KeywordsLate Miocene
Authigenic Carbonate
Multibeam Bathymetric Data
Multichannel Seismic Profile
Chaotic Facies
Issue DateJun-2016
CitationGeo Marine Letters 36(3): 197–214 (2016)
AbstractHigh-resolution single channel and multichannel seismic reflection profiles and multibeam bathymetric and backscatter data collected during several cruises over the period 1999 to 2007 have enabled characterising not only the seabed morphology but also the subsurface structural elements of the Yuma, Ginsburg, Jesús Baraza and Tasyo mud volcanoes (MVs) in the Gulf of Cádiz at 1,050–1,250 m water depth. These MVs vary strongly in morphology and size. The data reveal elongated cone-shaped edifices, rimmed depressions, and scarps interpreted as flank failures developed by collapse, faulting, compaction and gravitational processes. MV architecture is characterised by both extrusive and intrusive complexes, comprising stacked edifices (including seabed cones and up to four buried bicones) underlain by chaotic vertical zones and downward-tapering cones suggesting feeder systems. These intrusive structures represent the upper layer of the feeder system linking the fluid mud sources with the constructional edifices. The overall architecture is interpreted to be the result of successive events of mud extrusion and outbuilding alternating with periods of dormancy. Each mud extrusion phase is connected with the development of an edifice, represented by a seabed cone or a buried bicone. In all four MVs, the stacked edifices and the intrusive complexes penetrate Late Miocene–Quaternary units and are rooted in the Gulf of Cádiz wedge emplaced during the late Tortonian. Major phases of mud extrusion and outbuilding took place since the Late Pliocene, even though in the Yuma and Jesús Baraza MVs mud volcanism started in the Late Miocene shortly after the emplacement of the Gulf of Cádiz wedge. This study shows that fluid venting in the eastern sector of the Gulf of Cádiz promoted the outbuilding of large long-lived mud volcanoes active since the Late Miocene, and which have been reactivated repeatedly until recent times.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1007/s00367-016-0440-z
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