Mud volcanoes are important conduits for deep fluids to migrate upward, providing an important window to study fluid/sediment interactions at depth in accretionary prisms. Fluids emitting from mud volcanoes in southern and eastern Taiwan were analyzed for dissolved chemical composition and B isotopes to delineate the sources and chemical alteration occurring during fluid migration. Concentrations of dissolved major elements (Cl, Na, K, Ca, Mg, and SO4) in most of the mud volcano fluids were lower than seawater concentrations, except for the high Ca samples in eastern Taiwan, which were probably affected by fluids/igneous rock interactions. The high concentrations of B, Ba, and Li in the mud volcano fluids are consistent with a scenario that involves intense sediment alteration and clay dehydration at depth. The reaction temperatures estimated using chemical thermometers fall within the range of 70-170°C, with some variation by location. In nearby mud volcano sites, the concentration of dissolved major elements varied little, but the B stable isotope compositions varied by as much as 20%, supporting the argument that dissolved B concentrations were over-printed with effects of sediment adsorption. This explains the occurrence of B enriched and heavy δ11B fluids at moderate depths in subduction zones. It is probable that the fluids in mud volcanoes in Taiwan originated from 2 to 5km depth and are influenced by processes involving tectonic shortening, sediment alteration, and clay dehydration, and subsequent retrograde adsorption during fluid migration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science