Mud volcanoes of the Calabrian Arc/Italy – Surface expression of deep mud roots
The aim of this expedition is to obtain bathymetric maps of four mud volcanoes by the aid of an ‘autonomous underwater vehicle’ (AUV). On the Calabrian Arc, an accretionary prism in the Ionian Sea, over 54 mud volcanoes are known from previous expeditions (e.g. M112 RV METEOR). Based on AUV-derived bathymetric maps it is possible to study selected mud volcano structures at high-resolution. This allows the precise selection of gravity core locations for detailed sedimentological and geochemical studies, giving insight into past and present mud volcanism. This approach has already been successfully employed during research cruise M112 where it was discovered, that deeply sourced fluids drive mud volcanism at the Venere Mud Volcano. Furthermore, mud volcanoes on the Calabrian Arc seem to occur in domains possibly representing different structural units of the accretionary wedge and may have undergone different activity phases. The aim of expedition POS 499 is to test these hypotheses by AUV-based mapping of new mud volcanoes and by coring of mud flows of different ages.