Distribution, morphology, and formation of pockmarks in Lake Constance, Germany
Limnol. Oceanogr., 55(6), 2010, 2623-2633 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2010.55.6.2623
ABSTRACT: Pockmarks are well known in the marine environment but almost unreported from limnic systems. In Lake Constance we investigated pockmarks near the mouth of the main tributary, Alpine Rhine River, using sediment cores and hydroacoustics (sidescan sonar, subbottom profiler, horizontal scanning sonar, multibeam echo sounder). The maximum dimension of an individual pockmark is about 16 m in diameter and 3-4-m deep, often with a round shape. Most pockmarks are located on top of morphological high points such as sediment waves or shoulders of old channels in front of the Alpine Rhine River. They are collapse structures formed when a reservoir of biogenic methane rapidly empties into the water column. Ebullition of gas very often was observed, indicating that biogenic methane still migrates toward pockmarks.