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Stratigraphic framework of gas accumulations in the Ría de Pontevedra (NW Spain)

AuthorsDurán, Ruth ; García-Gil, Soledad; Díez, Raquel; Vilas, Federico
Issue DateJun-2007
CitationGeo-Marine Letters 27(2-4): 77-88 (2007)
AbstractKnowledge of marine geological environments in which shallow gas is accumulating is becoming increasingly important in global studies of climate change because a measurable proportion of the total methane source comes from continental margins. Previous studies have revealed that coastal environments represent important geological environments where microbial methane is being generated, is accumulating, and is being released. In the Ría de Pontevedra, at least 4.5 km2 of seafloor in the innermost part of the ría is underlain by sediments containing natural gas. Seismic interpretation contributes new findings for the definition of periods and geological environments in which the gas could have been generated, and is accumulating and released in the Ría de Pontevedra. Groundtruthing the seismic data (facies, environments) makes it possible to identify favourable geological environments for gas generation in the sedimentary infill of the Ría de Pontevedra. Sequence stratigraphy based on high-resolution seismic profiles and post-Last Glacial Maximum sea-level records makes it possible to establish the stratigraphic architecture of the ría and to define the periods in which gas could have been generated. The results of this study show that the sedimentary infill is composed of a fifth-order sequence developed since the Last Glacial Maximum. Within this sequence, gas appears to have accumulated in the Holocene deposits associated with the latest transgressive and highstand system tracts. Seismic analysis shows that gas could have been generated in different geological environments in the Ría de Pontevedra. If coastal environments at times of lower sea level were similar to those of the present, organic-rich mud deposits (deposited mainly in lakes, estuaries and floodplains) could have survived transgression and remained buried as potential gas sources in the inner part of the ría
Description12 pages, 10 figures
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00367-007-0063-5
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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