Site 1178 Summary
The science objective of Site 1178 includes sampling of slope sediments and underlying LDRZ (Fig. 11) in order to clarify the structural evolution of the prism.
We recognized two fundamental lithostratigraphic units at Site 1178
(Figs. 8B, 30). Both are divided into three subunits. Interpretations of the
lithostratigraphy are hampered by uncertainties regarding stratigraphic
ages. Subunit IA (upper slopeapron facies) is Quaternary to Pliocene(?) in
age and extends from the seafloor to a depth of 94.40 mbsf. Lithologies
consist of hemipelagic mud, sandy mud, and volcanic ash. Subunit IB is
Pliocene(?) in age and extends from 94.40 mbsf to 127.00. In addition to the
normal hemipelagic mud, this subunit also contains abundant silt-sand
turbidites, and minor mud-supported gravel. Subunit IC is early Pliocene(?) in
age and extends from 127.00 mbsf to 199.20 mbsf. Lithologies in Subunit IC
consist of hemipelagic mud with variable amounts of intermixed sand, rare
volcanic ash beds, and rare mixed volcanic lapilli and gravel-sized mud clasts.
Strata within Unit I have been subjected to significant amounts of
displacement along a submarine slide surface. Below the dislocation surface,
more highly deformed strata of Unit II are late Miocene to early Pliocene in
age and almost certainly part of the Nankai accretionary prism. Subunit IIA
(411.00199.20 mbsf) contains abundant sand and silt turbidites.
Similarities are striking between their lithofacies associations and those of
the axial trenchwedge environment. Subunit IIB (411.00563.95 mbsf)
contains sporadic silt to sandy silt turbidites and a greater proportion of
mudstone, similar in all respects to the outer trenchwedge facies at Sites
1173 and 1174. The axial trenchwedge facies is repeated below 563.95
mbsf (Subunit IIc) and extends to the bottom of Hole 1178B. This repetition
of facies confirms the occurrence of one of the imbricate thrust faults
within the accretionary prism.
Structurally, Site 1178 consists of four domains. Domain I, 0 to 200
mbsf, comprises the slope sediments, with discrete slump-folded packages
and east-west-striking bedding. Domain II, from 200 to 400 mbsf, consists
of accreted sediments but with only small-scale deformation features and
gentle to moderate bedding dips. Domain III, in contrast, extends from 400 to
506 mbsf and is characterized by marked deformation throughout (Figs. 31,
32, 33). The deformation has four chief elements: bedding dips ranging up to
55°; bedding-oblique foliation; bedding-parallel fissility (Fig. 31); and fracture
sets that brecciate the sediment into roughly trapezoidal fragments and
postdate the foliation/fissility. Toward the base of this 106-m zone of
shearing, scaly surfaces with downdip slickenlines probably indicate a major
prism thrust fault. Domain IV, from 506 to the base of the hole, is
characterized by generally weaker deformation, although moderate bedding
dips are common. Steeper dips and increased deformation around 550 mbsf
and between 633 and 645 mbsf presumably represent additional minor
thrust faults. Thus Domain IV contains two minor thrusts and three thrust
slices, each internally deformed much less than the sheet overlying the
major thrust at the base of Domain III.
Biostratigraphic age control was provided by calcareous nannofossils
although their abundance and states of preservation varied throughout the
sequence. The interval from 199.05 to 673.17 mbsf yields assemblages
especially poor in preservation and low in abundance, making zonal
identification problematic. Deformation of the sediments leads to a
repetition of biostratigraphic events and this to a disturbed biostratigraphic
secession. The sedimentary section spans the time interval from the late
Miocene (Subzone NN11a) through the Pleistocene.
Paleomagnetic measurements of magnetic inclination and intensity in
Holes 1178A and 1178B show the existence of four age gaps from the top
of Hole 1178A to the bottom of Hole 1178B. Based on the results of
biostratigraphy, inclination changes from the top to the bottom of Holes
1178A and 1178B are identified as four different geomagnetic polarity
periods. Normal polarity is identified from 0 to 8.5 mbsf in Hole 1178A within
the Brunhes Chron (00.78 Ma). Inclination changes from 8.5 to 209.75 mbsf
are considered to be geomagnetic polarity changes from late Pliocene to
Miocene, including the Gauss (2.5813.580 Ma), Gilbert (3.5805.894 Ma),
and C3A (5.8946.935 Ma) Chrons. The polarity changes from 209.75 to
~400 mbsf are also identified as the same geomagnetic polarity changes
from late MiocenePliocene. Continuous steep inclinations below 400 mbsf
may be considered to be a repeat of the C4r Subchron (8.0728.699 Ma).
The Cl concentration-depth profile exhibits a steep, continuous trend of
freshening of up to 3%4% relative to seawater Cl concentration.
Superimposed on this background dilution profile are numerous smaller Cl
minima. The largest one is at ~200 mbsf, corresponding to >6% dilution and
above the BSR at ~400 mbsf, which corresponds to ~7% dilution. Based on
measured core temperatures on the catwalk, 0.5°C at the 200 m minimum,
the associated elevated methane concentration, and the observation that
other dissolved components, such as Si and Ca, have similar dilution minima,
disseminated methane hydrate is widespread at this site, increasing in
abundance from ~90 mbsf to the depth of the BSR. Hydrate is not evenly
distributed within the sediment and seems more abundant in coarser grained
horizons. Some indications of a paleo-BSR situated at ~100 m below the
present BSR are observed.
The Ca, Mg, alkalinity, and sulfate concentration profiles are intimately
coupled in the top 35 mbsf, with primary dolomite formation and
dolomitization of biogenic calcite the most active reactions. The inverse
relation between Ca and Mg below this depth suggests that they are involved
in distinct reactionsMg in silicate reactions below the depth drilled, and Ca
in ash dissolution and alteration plus probably carbonate reactions linked or
associated with microbially mediated reactions at the BSR
Similar to the deep-water Sites 1173 and 1174 but unlike the shallow
water Sites 1175 and 1176, an increase in Cl concentration with depth in the
top 35 mbsf is a trend consistent with diffusion of lower chlorinity
interglacial water into the sediment.
The TOC content for the sediment samples examined at Site 1178 ranges
from 0.57 to 1.03 wt% over the first 383.6 mbsf, with an average value of
0.73 wt%, the highest TOC values measured for Nankai sediments during Leg
190. Sulfur concentrations track the TOC values in this interval and range
from 0.24 to 1.45, wt% with the highest values occurring at 200 and 350
mbsf coincident with the highest TOC values. The moderate to low
concentrations of methane throughout Holes 1178A and 1178B are
attributed to the high concentrations of light hydrocarbons from ethane (C2)
to hexane (C6), indicative of older, more mature organic matter within the
sediments (diagenesis) or migration (thermogenesis) of hydrocarbons from
deeper depths. Overall, the concentrations of light hydrocarbon ethane to
hexane reflect the thermal evolution and maturity of the sedimentary
organic matter at Site 1178. The Bernard (C1/[C2+C3]) ratio for the
hydrocarbons at Site 1178 also indicate that some contribution of the
lighter hydrocarbons (ethane to hexane) in these sediments were produced
from more mature organic matter present in situ mixed with thermogenic
hydrocarbons that have migrated in from a more mature source at depth.
Significant faulting has occurred over the lower 300 m of Hole 1178B that
would facilitate fluid migration of more mature hydrocarbons buried at
deeper depths to shallower sediments.
Microorganisms were enumerated in 30 samples collected from the
633 mbsf at Site 1178. Bacteria are present in near-surface sediments at low, but close to expected abundances. This was probably related to high IW sulfate concentrations to at least 18.3 mbsf. However, bacterial populations decline rapidly to barely detectable at 272 mbsf. This is a much greater rate of decrease than was observed at other sites during this leg. A small but statistically significant decrease from the general trend that is associated with the presence of a small amount of gas hydrate occurs at 210 mbsf. Below 272 mbsf, population sizes generally vary between not detectable and barely detectable, except for a zone between 374 and 497 mbsf, where populations increased up to a maximum of 6 ± 105 cells/cm3. These were not only locally statistically significant but were larger populations than were encountered at some of the more shallow depths at this site. No relationship was observed between bacterial populations and either the IW sulfate concentration or the methane concentration; therefore, the reasons for such a rapid rate of decrease in numbers remains unclear. Seventeen whole round cores were taken for shipboard enrichment cultures, cell viability, and shore-based microbiological analysis to measure potential bacterial activities, culture microorganisms, characterize nucleic acids, and investigate fatty acid biomarkers.
There are no obvious differences in physical properties between the
slope-apron deposits of Unit I and the underlying accreted sediments of Unit
II. In general, porosities at Site 1178 decrease with depth, following a typical
compaction profile. Deviations from the compaction trend occur at 70100
mbsf, 140160 mbsf, and ~200 mbsf. In addition, porosity values within
lithostratigraphic Subunits IB and IC are more scattered than in Subunit IA
and Unit II, and they probably reflect lithologic variation in this sandier part
of the stratigraphic section or deposition by slope-failure processes.
Velocities and formation factors increase with depth and are highly variable.
Two in situ temperature measurements indicate a thermal gradient of
Site 1178 drilling revealed that the LDRZ is composed of steeply dipping, pervasively foliated, and partly brecciated upper Miocene accreted sediments. This result will contribute significantly to our understanding of tectonic evolution of the Nankai accretionary prism.
Summary of Scientific Results: Stratigraphic Framework of Incoming Sediments | Table of Contents