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Poort J.,Ghent University | Poort J.,CNRS Paris Institute of Earth Sciences | Khlystov O.M.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Naudts L.,Ghent University | And 12 more authors.
Geo-Marine Letters

Thermal measurements and hydrate mapping in the vicinity of the K-2 mud volcano in Lake Baikal have revealed a particular type of association of thermal anomalies (29-121 mW m-2) near hydrate-forming layers. Detailed coring within K-2 showed that hydrates are restricted to two distinct zones at sub-bottom depths exceeding 70-300 cm. Temperature data from stations with hydrate recovery and degassing features all display low thermal gradients. Otherwise, the thermal gradients within the mud volcano are generally increased. These findings imply a more complicated thermal regime than often assumed for mud volcanoes, with important roles for both fluids and hydrates. The coexistence of neighbouring low and high thermal anomalies is interpreted to result from discharging and recharging fluid activity, rather than hydrate thermodynamics. It is suggested that hydrates play a key role in controlling the fluid circulation pattern at an early stage. At a later stage, the inflow of undersaturated lake water would favour the dissolution of structure I hydrates and the formation of structure II hydrates, the latter having been observed on top of structure I hydrates in the K-2 mud volcano. © 2012 Springer-Verlag. Source

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