Mud volcanism/clay diapirism and related gas and gas hydrate occurrences

Areas with active processes of mud diapirism/volcanism and fluid venting were a focus of most of the TTR cruises. Locations studied extend from the Black Sea to the Bear Island margin off Norway. Dozens of mud volcanoes and diapirs were mapped, directly observed by underwater video surveys and sampled in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, Gulf of Cadiz, Voring Plateau and Bear Island Trough area. A broad range of studies have been conducted as a results of this work:


mud volc


  • Analysis of mud breccia clasts for partial reconstruction of the stratigraphic succession without the need for expensive deep-sea drilling;

  • Analyses of seismic and acoustic images of diapiric fields and gas-related structures (such as Bottom Simulation Reflectors, acoustic voids and bright spots);

  • Chemical composition of gas and gas hydrates;

  • Gas-related authigenic mineral assemblages in deep-water sediments.

Selected publications:

Blinova, V. N., Comas, M. C., Ivanov, M. K., Poludetkina, E. N., and Matveeva, T. V., 2011, Active mud volcanism in the West Alboran Basin: Geochemical evidence of hydrocarbon seepage: Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 28, no. 8, p. 1483-1504.

Ivanov, M., Mazzini, A., Blinova, V., Kozlova, E., Laberg, J.-S., Matveeva, T., Taviani, M., and Kaskov, N., 2010, Seep mounds on the Southern Vøring Plateau (offshore Norway): Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 27, no. 6, p. 1235-1261.

Mazzini, A., Ivanov, M. K., Nermoen, A., Bahr, A., Bohrmann, G., Svensen, H., and Planke, S., 2008, Complex plumbing systems in the near subsurface: Geometries of authigenic carbonates from Dolgovskoy Mound (Black Sea) constrained by analogue experiments: Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 25, no. 6, p. 457-472.

Ivanov, M., Blinova, V., Kozlova, E., Westbrook, G., Mazzini, A., Minshull, T., and Nouzé, H., 2007, First sampling of gas hydrate from the Vøring Plateau: EOS, v. 88, no. 19, p. 209-210.

Mazzini, A., Aloisi, G., Akhmanov, G. G., Parnell, J., Cronin, B., and Murphy, P., 2005, Integrated petrographic and geochemical record of hydrocarbon seepage on the Vøring Plateau: Geological Society, v. 162, p. 815-827.

Mazzini, A., Ivanov, M. K., Parnell, J., Stadnitskaia, A., Cronin, B. T., Poludetkina, E., Mazurenko, L., and van Weering, T. C. E., 2004, Methane-related authigenic carbonates from the Black Sea: geochemical characterisation and relation to seeping fluids: Marine Geology, v. 212, no. 1-4, p. 153-181.

Bouriak S., Vanneste M., Saoutkine A. 2000. Inferred gas hydrates and clay diapirs near the Storegga Slide on the southern edge of the Voring Plateau, offshore Norway. Marine Geology, 163. 125-148.

Blinova, V., Ivanov, M. K., and Bohrmann, G., 2003, Hydrocarbon gases in deposits from mud volcanoes in the Sorokin Trough, north-eastern Black Sea: Geo-Marine Letters, v. 23, no. 3-4, p. 250 - 257.

Parnell, J., Mazzini, A., and Honghan, C., 2002, Fluid inclusion studies of chemosynthetic carbonates: strategy for seeking life on Mars: Astrobiology, v. 2, no. 1, p. 43-57.

Akhmanov G.G. and Woodside J.M. 1998. Mud Volcanic Samples in the Content of the Mediterranean Ridge Mud Diapiric Belt. In: Robertson, A.H.F., Emeis, K.-C., Richter, C., and Camerlenghi, A. (Eds.), Proc. ODP, Sci. Results, 160: College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program), 597-605.

Bouriak, S.V. and Akhmetjanov, A.M. 1998. Origin of gas hydrate accumulations on the continental slope of the Crimea from geophysical studies. In: J.P. Henriet and J. Mienert (Eds.) Gas Hydrates: Relevance to World Margin Stability and Climatic Change. Geol. Soc. of London Spec. Publ., 137, 215-222.

Egorov, A.V. and Ivanov, M.K., 1998. Hydrocarbon gases in sediments and mud breccia from the central and eastern part of the Mediterranean Ridge. Geo-Marine Letters, 18, 127-138.

Gaynanov, V.G., Bouriak, S.V. and Ivanov, M.K., 1998. Seismic evidence for gas accumulation related to the area of mud volcanism in the deep Black Sea. Geo-Marine Letters, 18, 139-145.

Ivanov. M.K., Limonov, A.F., and Woodside, J.M. Extensive deep fluid flux through the sea floor on the Crimean continental margin (Black Sea). 1998. In: J.-P. Henriet and J. Mienert (Eds.). Gas Hydrates: Relevance to World Margin Stability and Climatic Change. Geol. Soc. of London Spec. Publ., 137, 195-214.

Kopf, A., Robertson, A.H.F., Clennell, M.B. and Flecker, R., 1998. Mechanisms of mud extrusion on the Mediterranean Ridge accretionary complex. Geo-Marine Letters, 18, 97-114.

Woodside, J.M., Ivanov, M.K., Limonov, A.F., and Shipboard Scientists of the ANAXIPROBE Expedition. Shallow gas and gas hydrates in the Anaximander Mountains region, Eastern Mediterranean Sea. 1998. In: Henriet, J.-P. And Mienert, J. (Eds.) Gas Hydrates: Relevance to World Margin Stability and Climatic Change. Geol. Soc. of London, Spec. Publ., 137, 177-193.

Cronin, B.T., Ivanov, M.K., Limonov, A.F., Egorov, A.V., Akhmanov, G.G., Akhmetjanov, A.M., and Kozlova, E.V., 1997. New discoveries of mud volcanoes on the Eastern Mediterranean Ridge. Journ. Geol. Soc., London, 154, 173-182.

Limonov, A.F., van Weering, T.C.E., Kenyon, N.H., Ivanov, M.K., and Meisner, L.B. 1997. Seabed morphology and gas venting in the Black Sea mud volcano area: observations with the MAK-1 deep-tow sidescan sonar and bottom profiler. Marine Geology, 137, 121-136.

Akhmanov, G.G., 1996. Lithology of mud breccia clasts from the Mediterranean Ridge. Marine Geology, 132, 151-164.

Cita, M.B., Erba, E., Lucchi, R., Pott, M., van, d.M.R. and Nieto, L., 1996. Stratigraphy and sedimentation in the Mediterranean Ridge diapiric belt. Marine Geology, 132, 131-150.

Corselli, C. and Basso, D., 1996. First evidence of benthic communities based on chemosynthesis on the Napoli mud volcano (eastern Mediterranean). Marine Geology, 132, 227-239.

De Capitani, L. and Cita, M.B., 1996. The "marker-bed" of the Mediterranean Ridge diapiric belt; geochemical characteristics. Marine Geology, 132, 215-225.

Galindo, Z.J., Nieto, L. and Woodside, J.M., 1996. Structural features of mud volcanoes and the fold system of the Mediterranean Ridge, south of Crete. Marine Geology, 132, 95-112.

Ivanov, M.K., Limonov, A.F. and van Weering, T.C.E., 1996. Comparative characteristics of the Black Sea and Mediterranean Ridge mud volcanoes. Marine Geology, 132, 253-271.

Limonov, A.F., Woodside, J.M., Cita, M.B. and Ivanov, M.K., 1996. The Mediterranean Ridge and related mud diapirism; a background. Marine Geology, 132, 7-19.

Premoli Silva, I., Erba, E., Spezzaferri, S. and Cita, M.B., 1996. Age variation in the source of the diapiric mud breccia along and across the axis of the Mediterranean Ridge accretionary complex. Marine Geology, 132, 175-202.

van der Meer, R., 1996. Grading in mud volcanic breccia from the Mediterranean Ridge. Marine Geology, 132, 165-173.

Volgin, A.V. and Woodside, J.M., 1996. Sidescan sonar images of mud volcanoes from the Mediterranean Ridge; possible causes of variations in backscatter intensity. Marine Geology, 132, 39-53.

Wakefield, S.J. and O'Sullivan, G.M., 1996. The inorganic geochemistry of a Mediterranean Ridge mud breccia. Marine Geology, 132, 203-214.

Woodside, J.M. and Volgin, A.V., 1996. Brine pools associated with Mediterranean Ridge mud diapirs; an interpretation of echo-free patches in deep tow sidescan sonar data. Marine Geology, 132, 55-61.