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Permeability and pressure measurements in Lesser Antilles submarine slides: evidence for pressure-driven slow-slip failure


Hornbach, MJ and Manga, M and Genecov, M and Valdez, R and Miller, P and Saffer, D and Adelstein, E and Lafuerza, S and Adachi, T and Breitkreuz, C and Jutzeler, M and Le Friant, A and Ishizuka, O and Morgan, S and Slagle, A and Talling, PJ and Fraass, A and Watt, SFL and Stroncik, NA and Aljahdali, M and Boudon, G and Fujinawa, A and Hatfield, R and Kataoka, K and Maeno, F and Martinez-Colon, M and McCanta, M and Palmer, M and Stinton, A and Subramanyam, KSV and Tamura, Y and Villemant, B and Wall-Palmer, D and Wang, F, Permeability and pressure measurements in Lesser Antilles submarine slides: evidence for pressure-driven slow-slip failure, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 120, (12) pp. 7986-8011. ISSN 2169-9356 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 the Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1002/2015JB012061


Recent studies hypothesize that some submarine slides fail via pressure-driven slow-slip deformation. To test this hypothesis, this study derives pore pressures in failed and adjacent unfailed deep marine sediments by integrating rock physics models, physical property measurements on recovered sediment core, and wireline logs. Two drill sites (U1394 and U1399) drilled through interpreted slide debris; a third (U1395) drilled into normal marine sediment. Near-hydrostatic fluid pressure exists in sediments at site U1395. In contrast, results at both sites U1394 and U1399 indicate elevated pore fluid pressures in some sediment. We suggest that high pore pressure at the base of a submarine slide deposit at site U1394 results from slide shearing. High pore pressure exists throughout much of site U1399, and Mohr circle analysis suggests that only slight changes in the stress regime will trigger motion. Consolidation tests and permeability measurements indicate moderately low (~10−1610−17 m2) permeability and overconsolidation in fine-grained slide debris, implying that these sediments act as seals. Three mechanisms, in isolation or in combination, may produce the observed elevated pore fluid pressures at site U1399: (1) rapid sedimentation, (2) lateral fluid flow, and (3) shearing that causes sediments to contract, increasing pore pressure. Our preferred hypothesis is this third mechanism because it explains both elevated fluid pressure and sediment overconsolidation without requiring high sedimentation rates. Our combined analysis of subsurface pore pressures, drilling data, and regional seismic images indicates that slope failure offshore Martinique is perhaps an ongoing, creep-like process where small stress changes trigger motion.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:IODP, Expedition 340, debris avalanche
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Volcanology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Jutzeler, M (Dr Martin Jutzeler)
ID Code:107542
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Earth Sciences
Deposited On:2016-03-17
Last Modified:2018-03-29
Downloads:136 View Download Statistics

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