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Authors: Gasperini, L.* 
Polonia, A.* 
Del Bianco, F.* 
Etiope, G.* 
Marinaro, G.* 
Favali, P.* 
Italiano, F.* 
Cagatay, M. N.* 
Title: Gas seepage and seismogenic structures along the North-Anatolian Fault in the eastern Sea of Marmara
Journal: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 
Series/Report no.: /13(2012)
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1029/2012GC004190
Keywords: submarine
gas seepage
active fault
Marmara sea
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.02. Hydrology::03.02.04. Measurements and monitoring 
Abstract: We carried out a combined geophysical and gas-geochemical survey on an active fault strand along the North-Anatolian Fault (NAF) system in the Gulf of İzmit (eastern Sea of Marmara), providing for the first time in this area data on the distribution of methane (CH4) and other gases dissolved in the bottom seawater, as well as the CH4 isotopic composition. Based on high-resolution morphobathymetric data and chirp-sonar seismic reflection profiles we selected three areas with different tectonic features associated to the NAF system, where we performed visual and instrumental seafloor inspections, including in-situ measurements of dissolved CH4, and sampling of the bottom water. Starting from background values of 2-10 nM, methane concentration in the bottom seawater increases abruptly up to 20 nM over the main NAF trace. CH4 concentration peaks up to ~120 nM were detected above mounds related probably to gas and fluids expulsion. Methane is microbial (δ13CCH4: -67.3 and -76 ‰ vs. VPDB), and was found mainly associated with pre- Holocene deposits topped by a 10-20 m thick draping of marine mud. The correlation between tectonic structures and gas-seepages at the seafloor suggests that the NAF in the Gulf of İzmit could represent a key site for long-term combined monitoring of fluid exhalations and seismicity to assess their potential as earthquake precursors.
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