Dating of dissolved iodine in pore waters from the gas hydrate occurrence offshore shimokita peninsula, Japan: 129I results from the D/V Chikyu shakedown cruise

Hitoshi Tomaru, Udo Fehn, Zunli Lu, Rika Takeuchi, Fumio Inagaki, Hiroyuki Imachi, Ryosuke Kotani, Ryo Matsumoto, Kan Aoike

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38 Scopus citations


Iodine concentration and radioisotopic composition (129I/I) were measured in the pore waters from the gas hydrate occurrence in the forearc basin offshore Shimokita Peninsula, north-eastern Japan, to determine the source formation of I and accompanying hydrocarbons. Iodine concentrations correlate well with the alkalinity and SO4 patterns, reflecting degradation stages of I-rich buried organic matter, rapidly increasing in the sulfate reduction interval, and becoming constant below 250 meters below the seafloor with an upwelling flux of 1.5 × 10-11 mmol cm-2 year-1. The 129I/I ratios of 300 × 10-15-400 × 10-15 in deep pore waters suggest ages for iodine and hydrocarbon sources as old as 40 Ma. These ages correlate well with the coaly source formations of the Eocene age thought to be responsible for the conventional natural gas deposits underlying the gas hydrate stability zone. Similar profiles are observed in 129I/I ratios of pore waters in the gas hydrate stability zone from the forearc basin in the eastern Nankai Trough, offshore central Japan, where pore waters are enriched in I and reach ages as old as ~50 Ma through the sediment column. At the outer ridge site along the trough, on the other hand, relatively younger I are more frequently delivered probably through thrusts/faults associated with subduction. The nature of source formations of I and hydrocarbons in the offshore Shimokita Peninsula has a more terrestrial contribution compared with those in the Nankai Trough, but these formations are also considerably older than the host sediments, suggesting long-term transport of I and hydrocarbons for the accumulation of gas hydrates in both locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-373
Number of pages15
JournalResource Geology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Gas hydrate
  • Iodine isotope (I)
  • Offshore shimokita Peninsula
  • Pore water
  • Sanriku-oki Sedimentary basin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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