Determination of sea-floor seepage locations in the Mississippi Canyon

Emma Crooke, Asrar Talukder, Andrew Ross, Christine Trefry, Michael Caruso, Peter Carragher, Charlotte Stalvies, Stephane Armand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The ephemeral nature of marine oil and gas seepages and their complex trajectories in the water column make seep sampling difficult and costly. Here we report on how active natural seepage can be detected and located in the water column and at the sea bed in real time through the integration of marine X-band radar, synthetic aperture radar, field observations, high resolution single beam acoustic methods, and meta-ocean data from the marine environment with a simple bubble rise model. The extent of predictions made using a bubble rise model narrow down the likely seafloor origin point of an observed surface feature to within a radius of 630m within which clusters of acoustic contacts were detected. Use of averaged deep current velocities and directions narrows the radius to 130m, and use of a smaller established range of bubble rise speeds from the Gulf of Mexico can narrow the predicted seafloor origin radius further to 16.5m. These results are useful for focussing detailed sea bed search patterns for natural seepage and are also suggestive of a seep system with complex water column trajectories associated with Biloxi Dome in the Gulf of Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
StatePublished - Jan 2015


  • Biloxi dome
  • Geochemical modelling
  • Gulf of mexico
  • Hydrocarbon seepage
  • Ocean acoustics
  • Remote sensing
  • Synthetic aperture radar
  • X-band radar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geophysics
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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