Looking deeper into the seafloor of Isfjorden, Svalbard

Looking deeper into the seafloor of Isfjorden, Svalbard

Top image: Srikumar Roy in northern Svalbard. Photo: UNIS

PhD candidate Srikumar Roy has investigated the seabed fluid flow, seepage processes and features in Isfjorden, the largest fjord system of Svalbard. His research has helped to understand the geological controls on various fluid migration pathways and processes existing in the Norwegian Arctic fjords. Roy will defend his PhD thesis at UNIS on 6 November 2015.

3 November 2015
Press release from the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the University of Bergen

Roy’s thesis is a contribution to the field of marine geology and geophysics, with the focus on fluid flow and related seafloor morphologies and sub-seafloor features that may indicate the presence of fluids, integrating relevant information on the structure, stratigraphy and lithology of the geological formation of the study area.

The integrated analysis of these geophysical and geological data sets indicates that the near-seafloor tectonically deformed stratum plays an important role in the up-dip propagation of fluids (liquids and/or gas), distribution of shallow gas in marine sediments, seepage at the seafloor, and formation of pockmarks.

His research contributes to the “Hydrocarbon Seeps and Potential Source Rocks of the Northern Barents Sea” project within the ConocoPhillips and Lundin Petroleum funded the Northern Area Program at UNIS. He has also contributed to the UNIS CO2 lab pilot project.

Integrating shallow to deep geophysical datasets
Srikumar Roy did a systematic mapping of the pockmarks (seepage features on the seafloor) and various submarine landforms on high-resolution bathymetric data from Isfjorden. He found pockmarks to be aligned along seafloor ridges in several locations of Isfjorden. Through his research he established linkage between these seafloor ridges and thrust faults. The empirical correlation between the distribution of pockmarks and the fault systems has been confirmed by the pockmark–fault near distance analysis.

Based on his findings, it is suggested that tectonic features of the West Spitsbergen fold-and-thrust belt facilitates buoyant up-dip migration of fluids from deeper stratigraphy to the seafloor. He also analyzed the cause-effect relationship between pockmarks and submarine debris lobes. He could further identify subsurface acoustic features in the marine sediments of Grønfjorden, inner Isfjorden and Nordfjorden, which attribute to possible presence of shallow gas in the marine sediments.

Seepage and fluid flow characterisation done by Srikumar Roy in the inner Isfjorden contributes to the marine baseline study for the UNIS CO2 lab, in which CO2 may be injected in the Upper Triassic–Middle Jurassic Kapp Toscana Group aquifer. High concentration of pockmarks and seep-related acoustic features above the sub-cropping dolerite sills suggest focused fluid transport associated with these igneous intrusions.

Srikumar Roy will defend his thesis for the PhD degree, entitled “Geological controls on fluid flow and seepage in western Svalbard fjords”, on 6 November 2015 at 12:30 in auditorium “Lassegrotta” at UNIS.

He will hold a trial lecture entitled “Methods for geophysical imaging of the shallow sub-seabed and their practical applications” at 10:15 the same day at UNIS.

Srikumar Roy. Photo: Martin Hovland

Srikumar Roy. Photo: Martin Hovland

About the candidate:
Srikumar Roy was born in 1984 in Midnapur, West Bengal, India.

He obtained the Integrated BSc & MSc in Exploration Geophysics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.

Thereafter, he completed his IDEA League Joint MS in Applied Geophysics from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), TU Delft (Netherlands) and RWTH Aachen (Germany).

In 2011 he started his PhD studies at UNIS and University of Bergen, in the field of fluid flow and seepage.

Contact information: srikumar.iitkgp@gmail.com

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