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      Research Progress of Seafloor Pockmarks in Spatio-Temporal Distribution and Classification

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          Seafloor pockmarks are important indicators of submarine methane seepages and slope instabilities. In order to promote the understanding of submarine pockmarks and their relationship with sediment instabilities and climate changes, here we summarize the research results of pockmarks in the spatio-temporal distributions and shaping factors. Most of pockmarks occur along active or passive continental margins during the last 25 kyr B.P.. Circular and ellipse are the most common forms of pockmarks, whereas pockmarks in a special crescent or elongated shape are indicators of slope instabilities, and ring-shape pockmarks are endemic to the gas hydrate zones. Further researches should be focused on the trigger mechanism of climate changes based on the pockmarks in the high latitudes formed during the deglaciation periods, and the role of gas hydrates in the seafloor evolution should be elucidated. In addition, the feature of pockmarks at their early stage ( e.g., developing gas chimneys and gas driving sedimentary doming) and the relations between pockmarks and mass movements, mud diapirs could be further studied to clarify the influences of rapid methane release from submarine sediments on the atmospheric carbon contents.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          20 December 2019
          01 February 2020
          : 19
          : 1
          : 69-80
          1Key Laboratory of Gas Hydrate, Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266071, China
          2Laboratory for Marine Mineral Resources, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266071, China
          3College of Marine Geosciences/Key Laboratory of Submarine Geosciences and Prospecting Techniques, Ministry of Education, Qingdao 266100, China
          4The First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266071, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: XING Junhui, Tel: 0086-532-66782962, E-mail: junhuixing@
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2020.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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