Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Serpentosphere: An Update

One author of the abstract I quoted in an earlier post - the talk about The Serpentosphere given at last month's GSN meeting in Reno, NV - contacted me via comment on this blog. Martin Hovland pointed out his website, which has numerous references to the interconnections between mud volcanoes, salt diapirism, hydrothermal activity, and deep sources of hydrocarbons and some interesting links. He also referenced his EOS 2005 paper on the Chapopote asphalt volcano. At least one petroleum company is using ideas discussed at the March GSN to find oil.

Andrew on Nonmagmatic volcanism:

There are less well-known types of volcanism that don't involve magma: mud volcanism is one. Mud volcanoes come in two types. On land, hundreds of them occur in areas where hydrocarbons are abundant, like Trinidad or Azerbaijan (see this one in the Image Gallery). Under the sea, thousands of them occur near subduction trenches, where serpentinite mud is abundant (about serpentinization).

Another newly discovered form of volcanism involves asphalt. Asphalt flows were first documented on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico in 2003. No one knows how many of these tar volcanoes there are.

A few more references:
Supercritical water and Hydrothermal Chimneys
Lost City hydrothermal field
Asphalt Volcanism
Mantle Serpentinization Rates
Carbon Degassing from the Lithosphere [and upper mantle]
Mud Volcano Tofu
Mantle Wedge Water Contents

Tornado Gold


Fault Rocks said...

I don't think that anybody disagrees that serpentine plays a major role in volatile circulation and state along the Moho. When -osphere is added, however, there is a different message - that a continuous layer of serpentine exists. I have to agree with a comment on the previous post - the existence of an -osphere is testable by seismic velocity, and there is evidence against it.

Silver Fox said...

As to whether the authors of "The Serpentosphere" are trying to imply a continuous layer of serpentine minerals or are trying to facilitate a discussion about a concept with their use of a - *gasp* - new word, it is now quite easy to contact two of the authors from links on this post to find out, if one is really interested.