Re-evaluation of temperature at the updip limit of locked portion of Nankai megasplay inferred from IODP Site C0002 temperature observatory
© Sugihara et al.; licensee Springer. 2014
Received: 7 February 2014
Accepted: 21 August 2014
Published: 4 September 2014
In 2010, the first long-term borehole monitoring system was deployed at approximately 900 m below the sea floor (mbsf) and was assumed to be situated above the updip limit of the seismogenic zone in the Nankai Trough off Kumano (Site C0002). Four temperature records show that the effect of drilling diminished in less than 2 years. Based on in situ temperatures and thermal conductivities measured on core samples, the temperature measurements and heat flow at 900 mbsf are estimated to be 37.9°C and 56 ± 1 mW/m2, respectively. This heat flow value is in excellent agreement with that from the shallow borehole temperature corrected for rapid sedimentation in the Kumano Basin. We use these values in the present study to extrapolate the temperature below 900 mbsf for a megasplay fault at approximately 5,200 mbsf and a plate boundary fault at approximately 7,000 mbsf. To extrapolate the temperature downward, we use logging-while-drilling (LWD) bit resistivity data as a proxy for porosity and estimate thermal conductivity from this porosity using a geometrical mean model. The one-dimensional (1-D) thermal conduction model used for the extrapolation includes radioactive heat and frictional heat production at the plate boundary fault. The estimated temperature at the megasplay ranges from 132°C to 149°C, depending on the assumed thermal conductivity and radioactive heat production values. These values are significantly higher, by up to 40°C, than some of previous two-dimensional (2-D) numerical model predictions that can account for the high heat flow seaward of the deformation front, including a hydrothermal circulation within the subducted igneous oceanic crust. However, our results are in good agreement with those of the 2-D model, which does not include the advection cooling effect. The results imply that 2-D geometrical effects as well as the influence of the advective cooling may be critical and should be evaluated more quantitatively. Revision of 2-D simulation by introducing our new boundary conditions (37.9°C of in situ temperature at 900 mbsf and approximately 56 mW/m2 heat flow) will be essential. Ultimately, in situ temperature measurements at the megasplay fault are required to understand seismogenesis in the Nankai subduction zone.
The Nankai Trough is a convergent plate boundary where megathrust earthquakes (Mw > 8) have repeatedly occurred. In order to understand the nature of the seismogenic zone associated with the subduction of the Shikoku Basin along the Nankai Trough, the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) is being conducted across the Nankai Trough off Kii Peninsula (Kinoshita et al. 2009; Saffer et al. 2010; Saito et al. 2010; Kopf et al. 2011; Henry et al. 2012; Moore et al. 2013) as a Complex Drilling Project of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).
Summary of operation in site C0002
September 21 to November 15, 2007
0.0 to 1401.5
November 16 to December, 2007
475.0 to 1,057.0
November 16 to December, 2007
0.0 to 13.8
HPCS coring with APCT-3
November 16 to December, 2007
0.0 to 204.0
HPCS coring with APCT-3
July 15 to August 29, 2010
Failed to spud-in
July 15 to August 20, 2010; October 1, 2012 to January 13, 2013
875.5 to 2000.5
Deep riser hole (planned TD 5,200 mbsf)
October 25 to December 11, 2010
0.0 to 980.0
LTBMSb was installed.
October 1, 2012 to January 13, 2013
1,100.5 to 1,120.0
October 1, 2012 to January 13, 2013
Stuck drill pipe before coring
October 1, 2012 to January 13, 2013
902.0 to 940.0
October 1, 2012 to January 13, 2013
200 to 286.5
HPCS and ESCS coring
October 1, 2012 to January 13, 2013
277.0 to 505.0
Formation temperature measurements have been conducted at shallow depths (approximately 180 mbsf) by using the third-generation Advanced Piston Corer Temperature (APCT-3) tool (Heesemann et al. 2006) in Holes C0002C and C0002D during Expedition 315, and the temperature-depth profile beneath Site C0002 was predicted based on these measurements (Ashi et al. 2009). Although this tool is useful for determining formation temperature undisturbed by drilling, it relies on the softness of the sediment at the bottom of the borehole being drilled to allow the thin thermal probe to penetrate smoothly without creating cracks or gaps between the probe and the formation. As such, it is applicable to subbottom depths of 100 to 200 m only. Temperatures at deeper depths must be extrapolated from repeated temperature logs or measured through a long-term observatory system.
During Expedition 332, conducted in November to December 2010, the first long-term borehole monitoring system (LTBMS) was successfully installed to a depth of about 930 mbsf in Hole C0002G (Kopf et al. 2011). The LTBMS contains sensors for volume strain, broadband, and high-frequency seismic waves, tilt, pore pressure, and temperature. In addition, five thermistors were placed along a 150-m-long string (Expedition 332 Scientists 2011a,[b]; Kimura et al. 2013). In January 2013, the LTBMS was connected to the Dense Ocean Floor Network System for Earthquakes and Tsunamis (DONET), which is a submarine cabled real-time seafloor observatory network for earthquake and tsunami monitoring (Kitada et al. 2013). This connection enabled real-time acquisition of the LTBMS data. Prior to the connection with the DONET, data stored in the LTBMS was recovered using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in December 2010 just after the installation and in August 2011.
In this paper, we show the in situ temperature and heat flow at the lithological boundary between the Kumano Basin and the underlying old accretionary prism, determined from the LTBMS temperatures and the thermal conductivity values measured on core samples. We then extrapolate the temperature profile beneath Site C0002 down to the plate boundary fault assuming a steady-state, one-dimensional (1-D) thermal conduction regime including radioactive and frictional heat production, with the thermal conductivity curve inferred from log resistivity. The results are compared with profiles estimated by previous studies.
Geological setting around Site C0002
Based on multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection surveys in the area off Kii Peninsula, Park et al. (2002) and Moore et al. (2009) indicated the existence of a megasplay fault (approximately 5,200 mbsf) including landward-dipping thrust faults branching upward from the plate interface (Figure 1). This megasplay fault reaches the seafloor just seaward of the outer ridge.
Units I to III are composed mainly of hemipelagic mud frequently interbedded by fine sand and silt turbidities and are interpreted as forearc sediments formed on the southern distal basin plane of the Kumano Basin. The boundary between Units III and IV is defined by a sharp change in structural style at depths of 900 to 950 mbsf and is interpreted as an unconformity at 918.5 mbsf (C0002F; logging while drilling (LWD)) to 935.6 mbsf (C0002A; LWD) (Kinoshita et al. 2009; Moore et al. 2013).
Unit IV is composed mainly of noncalcareous silty claystone to clayey siltstone with interbedded sandstones, whereas Unit V is composed almost entirely of silty claystone without subordinate sandstone. The boundary between Units IV and V at 1,638 mbsf was determined by the LWD data obtained during Expedition 338 (Moore et al. 2013) and is considered to be a small fault. Based on the lithological characteristics of Units IV and V, Unit IV was interpreted as accretionary prism sediments that accumulated in either a paleo-trench or the Shikoku Basin, and Unit V is considered to be a thick layer of hemipelagic sediments that was deposited in the Shikoku Basin before subducting at the Nankai Trough (Moore et al. 2013).
Dataset for estimation of temperature profile
In situ temperature
The thermistors in the LTBMS were calibrated using the Steinhart-Hart equation (Steinhart and Hart 1968) for a temperature range of 5°C to 45°C prior to installation. Details on the calibration have been described by Expedition 332 Scientists (2011a) and Kimura et al. (2013). The uncertainty in the temperatures from the thermistors is estimated to be less than 20 mK except for T1. The uncertainty for T1 is estimated to be approximately 100 mK.
The LTBMS was installed into Hole C0002G on December 8, 2010, during Expedition 332. A connection test using an ROV and data download for a sensor health-check in the LTBMS were conducted soon after the installation. On August 1, 2011, ROV Hyper Dolphin dove to acquire data from the LTBMS during the KY11-09 cruise using R/V Kaiyo, and temperature data for about 1 h during connection with Hyper Dolphin were recovered. On January 24, 2013, the LTBMS was connected with the DONET, and data have been recovered via the DONET since then.
Summary of temperature data acquired by long-term borehole monitoring system (LTBMS)
Difference between KY1302 and Exp.332 (°C)
December 8, 2010
August 1, 2011
January 24, 2013 (via DONET)
Temperatures just after the installation were lower than those recovered in the second and third periods due to the transient cooling effect of drilling mud circulation. Since temperatures during the second and third recoveries are almost identical, we inferred that the temperature at 760 to 900 mbsf obtained in the second and third recoveries are in thermal equilibrium with the formation (Table 2 and Figure 4). We used the temperature data after the connection with the DONET to estimate heat flow from the old accretionary prism, which is discussed later in this paper.
The in situ temperature at 900 mbsf estimated from shallow formation temperatures measured by APCT-3 and the thermal conductivity profile (Expedition 315 Scientists 2009) is 37.9°C, which is higher than the previous estimation of approximately 32°C (Figure 5). The average temperature gradient at depth interval of 760 to 900 mbsf was calculated to be 37.4 mK/m, using data from thermistors T2 to T5.
Core samples to 1,150.0 mbsf were obtained almost continuously from Holes C0002B, C0002C, C0002D, C0002H, C0002J, C0002K, and C0002L, except for the depth interval of 1,057.0 to 1,100.5 mbsf (Ashi et al. 2009; Moore et al. 2013).
Thermal conductivities were measured on whole-round core samples for soft sediments and half-cut cores for consolidated sediments with the TeKa TK04 thermal conductivity meter (Blum 1997; Expedition 315 Scientists 2009; Moore et al. 2013). Thermal conductivities were measured in the laboratory onboard Chikyu at approximately 20°C and were corrected for in situ temperature in a manner similar to that reported by Expedition 316 Scientists (2009) and Harris et al. (2011) to determine basal heat flow.
Expedition 316 Scientists (2009) and Harris et al. (2011) estimated errors of both methods by repeated measurement of standard materials and showed that the uncertainty is less than 5%, as stated by Blum (1997).Figure 5A shows measured thermal conductivity values with depth. Generally, the values increase with increasing depth, from 1W/m/K near the seafloor to approximately 1.5W/m/K at approximately 1,000 mbsf.
where T0 is the temperature at z = z0 (760 m here), q0 is the heat flux from below, ∆z i the depth spacing, and k(z) i is the thermal conductivity corresponding at depth z. The term Σ∆z i /k(z) i is the thermal resistance. We applied a linear regression line to the data of thermal conductivity with depth and used the linear trend to calculate thermal resistance values as a function of z.
The temperature versus depth profile from the seafloor to 900 mbsf is shown in Figure 5. All temperatures fit in line with its thermal gradient of 37 mK/m, including an estimate from the depth of the BSRs (Kinoshita et al. 2011). This linearity resulted in inconsistent heat flow between shallow (40 mW/m2; Expedition 315 Scientists 2009) and deep (56 mW/m2) intervals because of increased thermal conductivity at depth. Harris et al. (2011) modified the shallow heat flow by correcting for the bathymetry relief and rapid sedimentation in the Kumano Basin during 1 to 2 Ma, resulting in 57 mW/m2. This value is in excellent agreement with the heat flow at 900 mbsf determined from LTBMS. The results imply that the rapid sedimentation had little effect on the deeper interval around 900 mbsf, at least in terms of temperature gradient. In addition, the results also indicate the importance of the bathymetry relief and sedimentation correction by Harris et al. (2011).
Temperature estimation below 900 mbsf
where A(z) includes both the radioactive and frictional heat production. By using two boundary conditions at 900 mbsf (top boundary) as mentioned above, i.e., 37.9°C and 56 mW/m2, Equation 2 can be solved by downward integration.
The thermal conductivity and internal heat source A(z) were inferred from currently available data, as described below.
Radioactive heat production
Since the old accretionary sediments are composed of pelagic claystone deposited in the Philippine Sea plate and terrigenous silt to sandstone accumulated in the past trench, concentrations of radioactive elements (K, U, Th) in the old accretionary sediments are higher than those in typical basaltic oceanic crust (e.g., Yamaguchi et al. 2001). Therefore, radioactive heat production in the accretionary prism sediments is not negligible in estimating the temperature profile. Since Harris et al. (2011) assumed that the range of radioactive heat production (R) of the accretionary prism sediments is 1.9 to 2.4 μW/m3, both values of R were applied in this study as lower and upper limits of radioactive heat production, respectively.
Frictional heat generation
The frictional heat energy dissipated during an earthquake is given as a product of the shear stress and the slip distance along the fault. Thus, the heat energy, if it is averaged over geological time, does not depend on whether the slip distribution in time is continuous or episodic. In this context, we can assume that frictional heat is continuously generated along the fault with a slip velocity similar to the plate convergence rate.
where τ is the shear stress during slip, v is the plate convergence rate, μ is the apparent frictional coefficient of the fault plane, and σ n is the normal stress across the fault.
The apparent frictional coefficient is set at 0.05 at both fault zones (Hamamoto et al. 2011). Because of the shallow dip angle of both faults, the normal stress is assumed to be equal to the overburden or lithostatic pressure estimated from the assumed bulk density value of 2,300 kg/m3 (Kinoshita et al. 2013). Since Hamamoto et al. (2011) reported that the variation in the Philippine Sea plate convergence rate is not critical in estimating the thermal structure of the Nankai subduction zone, we also assumed 4.0 cm/year for the Philippine Sea plate convergence rate. The frictional heat flow across the megasplay and plate boundary fault below Site C0002 was estimated at approximately 8 mW/m2 and approximately 10 mW/m2, respectively.
Since core samples below 1,150 mbsf were available, we constructed a thermal conductivity model using available borehole information down to the fault zone.
where k w is the thermal conductivity of pore water (0.6 W/K/m).
Porosity is inferred from LWD resistivity or from density or thermal neutron logs or is measured on core samples or cuttings, designated as moisture and density (MAD) porosity (Blum 1997; Expedition 314 Scientists 2009; Moore et al. 2013; Expedition 315 Scientists, 2009).
Generally, all porosity data had a similar decreasing trend with increasing depth (Figure 7A). However, between 200 and 700 mbsf, the resistivity-derived porosity was notably lower than that in other logs or MAD porosity. The three-dimensional (3-D) seismic reflection volume image identified clear BSRs at 400 mbsf around Site C0002 (Moore et al. 2009; Kinoshita et al. 2011). An abundance of methane hydrate was inferred from the anomaly in chemical compositions of interstitial water, which has lower salinity than in that at other depths, in core samples taken between 200 and 400 mbsf (Moore et al. 2013). Expedition 314 Scientists (2009) attributed this apparent decrease in porosity to the resistivity difference between hydrate-filled pore space and that filled with free gas. Thus, we excluded resistivity porosity data at this depth interval and instead adopted the MAD porosity data.
where z is depth (mbsf), ϕ0 is the porosity on the seafloor, and L is an empirically derived constant. As shown in Figure 7B, the LWD porosity fit well to Equation 5, and the regression curve was extrapolated to the plate boundary megathrust. This extrapolated porosity curve is within a range of porosity variation with depth in accretionary prisms worldwide (Bray and Karig 1985; Moore and Saffer 2001).
Alternatively, we could use an empirical relationship between P-wave velocity (Vp) and porosity. Han et al. (1986) measured Vp for sedimentary rocks and showed a linear relationship between Vp, porosity, and clay content. Taking the Vp of approximately 4 km/s obtained from seismic surveys (e.g.,Nakanishi et al. 2008), the porosity was estimated at approximately 10% for 50% clay (Han et al. 1986) to approximately 0% for 70% clay (Kowallis et al. 1984). Although we did not determine the clay abundance below Site C0002, these estimates are in general agreement with resistivity-derived values.
Grain thermal conductivity
Summary of calculated temperature response for each thermal parameter
kg = 2.5 (W/K/m)
kg = 3.0 (W/K/m)
R = 1.9 (μW/m3)
R = 2.4 (μW/m3)
R = 1.9 (μW/m3)
R = 2.4 (μW/m3)
μ′ = 0.05
μ′ = 0.10
μ′ = 0.05
μ′ = 0.10
μ′ = 0.05
μ′ = 0.10
μ′ = 0.05
μ′ = 0.10
Based on Figure 10 and Table 3, the temperature at 5,200 mbsf (megasplay fault zone) was estimated to be 147 to 149°C for kg = 2.5 W/K/m and 132 to 134°C for kg = 3.0 W/K/m. In addition, uncertainty of the estimated temperatures was less than 3°C at 5,200 mbsf based on the error in the estimated heat flow, as mentioned above.
Results and discussion
In Figure 10, temperatures estimated in this study are compared with those of previous studies at the depth of the megasplay fault (Harris et al. 2011; Hamamoto et al. 2011; Spinelli and Harris 2011). Our estimates are closer to models by Hamamoto et al. (2011) and model B in Harris et al. (2011). The temperature modeled by Spinelli and Harris (2011) is much lower than that in our model.
Regional heat flow along the Kumano Transect decreases landward from >100 mW/m2 on the Nankai Trough to approximately 60 mW/m2 in the Kumano forearc basin (e.g., Harris et al. 2013). Spinelli and Harris (2011) suggested that the high heat-flow anomaly around the deformation front indicates a fluid flow from the deeper part in the subducting basaltic oceanic crust and results in heat loss and low temperature on the megasplay fault (approximately 100°C). Harris et al. (2013) and Spinelli (2014) also indicated that their numerical model based on this hypothesis effectively explains the surface heat flow distribution. Thus, the two-dimensional (2-D) thermal structure model by Spinelli and Harris (2011) would provide a better understanding for the thermal structure in the Nankai subduction zone. However, our 1-D temperature estimation, based on measured in situ temperatures and thermal conductivity values on core samples at 900 mbsf, does not support a temperature lower than 130°C at the megasplay fault below Site C0002. We attempted to determine the cause for such discrepancies (up to 40°C) in temperature at the megasplay fault.
The temperature at 5,200 mbsf estimated by Hamamoto et al. (2011), in which the thermal parameters used are almost similar to those used in the present study, is very close to the result of our 1-D temperature estimation (Figure 10). In addition, their thermal model also does not include the influence of the advective cooling in the subducting basaltic oceanic crust. Therefore, we suspect that the disagreement in the estimated megasplay temperature is primarily attributed to the advective cooling in the 2-D system, which can disturb the temperature distribution in the accretionary wedge above the megasplay. Moreover, we consider that the temperatures at the depth of the megasplay fault shown in this study indicate an upper bound to the temperature at that depth.
A future revision of 2-D simulation by including the results of our temperature estimation based on the in situ temperature at 900 mbsf and the heat flow derived from the temperatures, LWD, and the measured thermal conductivity data on the core sample would improve estimates of the overall thermal regime in the Nankai subduction zone. For future study, additional downhole information is important as are more surface heat flow and hydrological data. Further, drilling to the megasplay fault, wireline logging, and installation of a long-term observatory with temperature sensors in the drilled holes should be essential components for future research.
Intermittently, retrieved LTBMS temperature data were stabilized approximately 2 years after installation, indicating that temperatures at 760 to 900 mbsf recorded in early 2013 were in thermal equilibrium with the formation. In situ temperature at 900 mbsf was accurately determined as 37.9°C, and the heat flow from the old accretionary sediments below was estimated to be 56 ± 1 mW/m2. This value is in excellent agreement with previously determined heat flow for the shallow depth interval after correction for rapid sedimentation in the Kumano Basin. The agreement implies that the rapid sedimentation does not affect the temperature gradient as deep as 900 mbsf.
A 1-D, steady-state thermal conduction model was used to extrapolate the temperature down to the plate boundary at 7,000 mbsf at Site C0002. Thermal conductivity was inferred using a geometrical mean model from porosities estimated from LWD resistivity for two assumed grain conductivity values (k g = 2.5W/K/m and 3.0W/K/m). Radioactive heat production in the accreted sediment and the frictional heating at the megasplay and plate boundary faults were considered. The temperatures at the depth of the megasplay fault were estimated to be 147 to 149°C for k g = 2.5W/K/m and 132 to 134°C for k g = 3.0W/K/m.
The temperatures estimated by the 1-D simulation are close to some of the previous estimates (e.g., Hamamoto et al. 2011) but are significantly lower (by approximately 40°C) than those modeled by Spinelli and Harris (2011), who introduced advective heat transport in the subducting basaltic crust in order to produce high heat flow near the deformation front. These results indicate that further revision for the 2-D numerical models is needed and that quantitative re-evaluation of the influence of advective cooling in the basaltic oceanic crust is essential.
For better understanding of the characteristics around the Nankai seismogenic zone, it is important to drill to the megasplay fault to obtain thermal properties to ultimately measure in situ temperature with a borehole observatory.
This research used samples and data provided by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). We thank co-chief scientists and shipboard science parties for usage of measurement data acquired during the past NanTroSEIZE expeditions. We also appreciate the ship and drilling personnel, staff, and technicians aboard the D/V Chikyu for their work. We thank R.N. Harris, an anonymous reviewer, and associate editors for providing productive comments that helped to improve this manuscript.
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