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Fluidization of buried mass-wasting deposits in lake sediments and its relevance for paleoseismology: Results from a reflection seismic study of lakes Villarrica and Calafquén (South-Central Chile)
Moernaut, J.; De Batist, M.; Heirman, K.; Van Daele, M.; Pino, M.; Brümmer, R.; Urrutia, R. (2009). Fluidization of buried mass-wasting deposits in lake sediments and its relevance for paleoseismology: Results from a reflection seismic study of lakes Villarrica and Calafquén (South-Central Chile). Sediment. Geol. 213(3-4): 121-135. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2008.12.002
In: Sedimentary Geology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0037-0738; e-ISSN 1879-0968, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Fluidization structures; Lake sediments; Reflection seismic profiling; South-Central Chile; Paleoseismology

Auteurs  Top 
  • Moernaut, J.
  • De Batist, M.
  • Heirman, K.
  • Van Daele, M.
  • Pino, M.
  • Brümmer, R.
  • Urrutia, R.

Abstract
    A dense grid of very-high resolution seismic profiles on Lake Villarrica provides a quasi-3D view on intercalated lenses of low-amplitude reflections, which are connected by acoustic wipe-out patches and fractures to an underlying voluminous mass-wasting deposit. The lenses are interpreted as being created by earthquake-triggered liquefaction in this buried mass-wasting deposit and subsequent sediment fluidization and extrusion at the paleo-lake bottom. These sediment volcanoes are mapped in detail. They have a rather uniform circular geometry and show a linear relationship between apparent width and maximum thickness on a seismic section. The largest sediment volcanoes are up to 80 m wide and 1.9 m thick. Their slope angles designate a syn- to post-depositional sagging of most sediment volcanoes. Sediment volcano detection and mapping from nearby Lake Calafquén further strengthen the revealed geometrical relationships. Locally, some of the sediment/fluid escape structures extend to a higher position in the stratigraphy, which points to a polyphase escape process associated with multiple multi-century spaced strong earthquakes. Thickness and morphology of the source layer seem to exert a dominant control in the production of sediment/fluid extrusions. This study shows that reflection seismic profiling allowed recognizing 4 different seismic events in the studied stratigraphic interval, which are evidenced by mass-wasting deposits and/or fluidization features.

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