Acoustic monitoring of gas emissions from the seafloor. Part II: a case study from the Sea of Marmara

Bayrakci, Gaye; Scalabrin, Carla; Dupré, Stéphanie; Leblond, Isabelle; Tary, Jean-Baptiste; Lanteri, Nadine; Augustin, Jean-Marie; Berger, Laurent; Cros, Estelle; Ogor, André; Tsabaris, Christos; Lescanne, Marc; Géli, Louis. 2014 Acoustic monitoring of gas emissions from the seafloor. Part II: a case study from the Sea of Marmara. Marine Geophysical Research, 35 (3). 211-229.

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A rotating, acoustic gas bubble detector, BOB (Bubble OBservatory) module was deployed during two surveys, conducted in 2009 and 2011 respectively, to study the temporal variations of gas emissions from the Marmara seafloor, along the North Anatolian Fault zone. The echosounder mounted on the instrument insonifies an angular sector of 7° during a given duration (of about 1 h). Then it rotates to the next, near-by angular sector and so forth. When the full angular domain is insonified, the “pan and tilt system” rotates back to its initial position, in order to start a new cycle (of about 1 day). The acoustic data reveal that gas emission is not a steady process, with observed temporal variations ranging between a few minutes and 24 h (from one cycle to the other). Echo-integration and inversion performed on the acoustic data as described in the companion paper of Leblond et al. (Mar Geophys Res, 2014), also indicate important variations in, respectively, the target strength and the volumetric flow rates of individual sources. However, the observed temporal variations may not be related to the properties of the gas source only, but reflect possible variations in sea-bottom currents, which could deviate the bubble train towards the neighboring sector. During the 2011 survey, a 4-component ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) was co-located at the seafloor, 59 m away from the BOB module. The acoustic data from our rotating, monitoring system support, but do not provide undisputable evidence to confirm, the hypothesis formulated by Tary et al. (2012), that the short-duration, non-seismic micro-events recorded by the OBS are likely produced by gas-related processes within the near seabed sediments. Hence, the use of a multibeam echosounder, or of several split beam echosounders should be preferred to rotating systems, for future experiments.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0025-3235
Date made live: 26 Mar 2019 11:34 +0 (UTC)

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