Mud Volcanoes on the Western Nile Deep-Sea Fan
Post-doctorant in the west nile delta project (2008-2009)
Project funded by RWE-DEA to the IFM-GEOMAR (webpage).I participated to the project as a sedimentologist, and focused my work on interpreting the physical properties logs and measuring the elemental content in the sediments from the mud volcanoes.
In February 2008, cruise P362/2 was undertaken on board the R/V Poseidon to the Giza and North Alex mud volcanoes (MVs) on the upper slope of the western Nile deep-sea fan. Emitted fluids were strongly depleted in chloride and rich in hydrocarbons, predominantly of thermogenic origin. In-situ sediment temperature measurements indicate extremely high and moderate levels of activity for the North Alex MV and Giza MV, respectively, and suggest rapid changes from dormant to active stages. Both the physical properties of core sediments (e.g., color and magnetic susceptibility), and their assemblages of micro- and nannofossils point to different sources for the two mud volcanoes. Biostratigraphic dating suggests source depths of 2,100–2,450 mbsf for the Giza MV and 1,150–1,550 mbsf for the North Alex MV. Very high temperatures of up to 70°C in shallow sediments at the North Alex MV can be explained only if the fluid source were warmer and deeper than the sediment source.