Passive continental margins such as the Atlantic seaboard of Europe are important for society as they contain large energy resources, and they sustain ecosystems that are the basis for the commercial fish stock. The margin sediments are very dynamic environments. Fluids are expelled from compacting sediments, bottom water temperature changes cause gas hydrate systems to change their locations and occasionally large magmatic intrusions boil the pore water within the sedimentary basins, which is then expelled to the surface. The fluids that seep through the seabed at the tops of focused fluid flow systems have a crucial role for seabed ecology, and study of such fluid flow systems can also help in predicting the distribution of hydrocarbons in the subsurface and deciphering the climate record. Therefore, the study of focused fluid flow will become one of the most important fields in marine geology in the future.
One contribution of 17 to a Triennial Issue ‘Astronomy and earth science’.
- © 2005 The Royal Society