Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 2154–2165 | Cite as

Seabed domes with circular depressions in the North Yellow Sea

  • Bing Wang (王冰)
  • Xin Zhang (张鑫)Email author
  • Zhendong Luan (栾振东)
  • Chang’an Chen (陈长安)
  • Jun Yan (阎军)


Numerous isolated shallow seabed domes with depressions were discovered in the North Yellow Sea in a high-resolution multibeam echosounder survey. Twelve domes were located within a 11 km by 17 km survey area. The domes in this area were between 0.1 m and 1.0 m high with diameters ranging from 250 to 1 700 m. They were surrounded by corresponding depressions and displayed characteristic shapes ranging from circular to elliptical. The acoustic anomalies displayed on the high resolution sub-bottom profile images demonstrated that shallow gas accumulated just beneath these domes, suggesting that the migration and accumulation of the shallow gas caused the formation of these features. Accumulation atop the seabed domes and erosion within the depressions, as indicated by the lithological features of the sediment cores, suggested that seabed bottom currents also played a role in the formation and evolution of these features. In addition, the simultaneous decrease in the chlorite and sulfate content in core d pore water samples confirmed the presence of submarine fresh/brackish groundwater, which is of interest for hydrological budgets and may be a significant component of the regional hydrologic balance. Our findings suggested that shallow gas accumulation and migration are likely coupled to localized groundwater discharge at this domed site.


seabed dome shallow gas North Yellow Sea submarine fresh/brackish groundwater 


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We thank Peter G. Brewer for his careful editing of the manuscript and the helpful comments. We thank the officers and crew of the RV Kexue III for their skilled assistance during our operations. We are grateful to the members of the Research Center of Analysis and Measurement, Institute of Oceanology, IOCAS, and colleagues from the OUC for their precise chemical test results. We would also like to express our sincere thanks to the reviewer for the valuable comments and suggestions, which were helpful in improving our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bing Wang (王冰)
    • 1
    • 3
  • Xin Zhang (张鑫)
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Zhendong Luan (栾振东)
    • 1
  • Chang’an Chen (陈长安)
    • 1
  • Jun Yan (阎军)
    • 1
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment & Center of Deep Sea Research, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine GeologyQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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