Quantification of focused fluid migration through the sedimentary succession is fundamental for a large number of research themes ranging from the assessment of geological climate controls and slope stability to verify applied question such as where hydrocarbons accumulate and how safe CO2 storage is. Within the ECO2 project we have attempted to assess the integrity of the overburden, but the combination of field studies and numerical simulation has shown clearly that it is not possible to describe fluid migration in a sedimentary basin quantitatively without understanding the role of seismic chimney structures.
The main scientific goals of the cruise are
a) constrain the bulk permeability of an existing chimney structure, i.e. to assess the amount of aqueous and gassy fluids that may move through these
structures over time.
b) constrain the temporal evolution of fluid migration through pipe structures over time, i.e. do they transport fluids continuously or episodically and if episodically is it likely that CO2 storage may initiate a new episode of migration.
c) test the hypothesis that chimney structures in seismic data represent indeed fault networks created by hydro-fracturing and not bulk mobilization of sediments as a diapir or subsidence of sediments in the style of a breccia pipe.
Within the specialisation of marine geophysics, we intend to apply equipment in the research disciplines: sediment echosounder, multi-beam bathymetry, water chemistry, seabed coring (RockDrill2, gravity coring).
Jens Karstens (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel (East Shore Campus))