Paço de Arcos, Portugal
Paço de Arcos, Portugal
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Costa A.C.G.,University of Lisbon | Costa A.C.G.,University Paris - Sud | Hildenbrand A.,University Paris - Sud | Hildenbrand A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research | Year: 2015

The Pico Island constitutes the easternmost sub-aerial domain of a steep WNW-ESE volcanic ridge, which has developed within the Nubia-Eurasia diffuse plate boundary (Azores Triple Junction). The island comprises three volcanic systems, from older to younger: the Topo Volcano, the Fissural System, and the Pico Stratovolcano. From a high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (10 m), and new bathymetric, stratigraphic, structural, and high-precision K-Ar data, we reconstruct the main successive stages of growth and partial destruction of the island over the last 200 kyr. We especially concentrate on the central sector of the island, which has recorded gradual movements through slumping and catastrophic flank collapses since ca. 130 kyr. The remmants of the Topo Volcano are partly exposed on Pico's SE flank, and are here dated between 186 ± 5 and 115 ± 4 ka. Topo was significantly destroyed by N- and S-directed large-scale flank collapses between ca. 125 and 70 ka. On Pico's N flank, collapse seems to have removed all the unstable material, but in the S the collapse structure is composite, including a major flank collapse and a remnant slump complex that is still active. A first episode of deformation occurred between ca. 125 and 115 ka along the master fault of the slump. Between ca. 115 and 69 ka, most of the unstable material was removed by a major flank collapse, leaving behind a still considerable volume of unstable material that comprises the active slump. This first collapse was catastrophic and generated a large debris deposit recognized on the high-resolution bathymetry, with a minimum run-out of ca. 17 km. The scar was partially filled by volcanic products erupted from volcanic cones developed within the slump depression, and possibly also from the early WNW-ESE Fissural System. Subsequent deformation in the slump area affected in part the filling units, leading to the individualization of secondary curved faults. Younger volcanic products have gradually masked the mass-wasting scars. Unlike the well-known Hilina slump (Hawaii), Pico's slump evolution might be controlled by an active regional tectonics. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Bernardes L.,EMEPC | Carneiro J.,University of Évora | Madureira P.,EMEPC | Brandao F.,EMEPC | Roque C.,EMEPC
Energies | Year: 2015

Gas hydrates in sub-seabed sediments is an unexploited source of energy with estimated reserves larger than those of conventional oil. One of the methods for recovering methane from gas hydrates involves injection of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), causing the dissociation of methane and storing CO2. The occurrence of gas hydrates offshore Portugal is well known associated to mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Cadiz. This article presents a determination of the areas with conditions for the formation of biogenic gas hydrates in Portugal's mainland geological continental margin and assesses their overlap with CO2 hydrates stability zones defined in previous studies. The gas hydrates stability areas are defined using a transfer function recently published by other authors and takes into account the sedimentation rate, the particulate organic carbon content and the thickness of the gas hydrate stability zone. An equilibrium equation for gas hydrates, function of temperature and pressure, was adjusted using non-linear regression and the maximum stability zone thickness was found to be 798 m. The gas hydrates inventory was conducted in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment and a full compaction scenario was adopted, with localized vertical flow assumed in the accrecionary wedge where mud volcanoes occur. Four areas where temperature and pressure conditions may exist for formation of gas hydrates were defined at an average of 60 km from Portugal's mainland coastline. Two of those areas coincide with CO2 hydrates stability areas previously defined and should be the subject of further research to evaluate the occurrence of gas hydrate and the possibility of its recovery coupled with CO2 storage in sub-seabed sediments. © 2015 by the authors.

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