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Cyclic Gas Emission From the Seafloor and the Possible Connection to Climatic Feedback: Insights From the Eastern Mediterranean

Abstract

Recent discoveries reveal that the continental shelf bounding the Eastern Mediterranean is characterized by large amount of shallow gas reservoirs. Moreover, these finding are complemented with the discoveries of a deep seepage system, apparently reported to be active during the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) in the nearby deep Levant basin. Despite the richness in findings, the possible linkage between these systems is debated. The present study is based on integrated interpretations of several 3D seismic reflection datasets coupled by high resolution industrial 2D datasets. The results of this study suggest the presence of a mechanism for gas seepage from the subsurface, which apparently follow a glacial/interglacial cycle. While a negative feedback occurs during sea level low-stands characterized by extensive gas emission, an apparent opposite trend with cease or limited emission occurs during high-stand intervals. Results from this study aim providing new important insights for understanding the role of gas emanation from mid-latitude hydrocarbon-rich basins into the global atmospheric methane budget.