Mud volcanism and fluid geochemistry in the Cheleken peninsula, western Turkmenistan

Davide Oppo, Rossella Capozzi, Aman Nigarov, Paltamet Esenov

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26 Citations (Scopus)


A geological and geochemical study has been carried out to investigate the relationships between major mud volcano structures and deep fluid migration in the Cheleken peninsula, in the South Caspian Basin. The fluid geochemistry allowed the origin and migration of the saline waters and the hydrocarbons to be deduced along with the regional source and reservoir rocks. The emitted waters formed by the mixing of deep highly saline water from the main source rocks of the Maykop Fm with the Caspian-like pore water contained in the Pliocene reservoirs. The water composition is very similar to that emitted by the mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan, allowing comparisons to be done between the reservoirs in the western and eastern sides of the South Caspian Basin. The associated oil is derived from a mixed type II/III kerogen deposited in a sub-oxic marine environment and generated during the early oil window. The oil biomarkers indicate that the source rock is the Maykop Fm., as previously determined for the other areas of the South Caspian Basin.The spontaneous emissions, showing different morphologies, are mainly aligned along normal and transtensive fault systems, which provide effective pathways for rapid fluid ascent from deep reservoirs to the surface. ?? 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-134
Number of pages13
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

The Authors are indebted with Dr. Barbara Cerasetti, scientific coordinator of the Italian Archaeological Program in Turkmenistan (Dipartimento di Storia, Culture, Civiltà – Università di Bologna – Ministero per gli Affari Esteri – MAE), for the logistical help before and during the field activities in Turkmenistan. Our thanks to the administration of the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna and to the Turkmenistan Government. Funding was provided by Prof. G. Gabbianelli and by PRIN 2009 grants to Prof. Rossella Capozzi. The authors are grateful to the reviewer Dr. Adriano Mazzini and editor Jonathan Craig for the very helpful suggestions.


  • Fluid geochemistry
  • Fluid sources
  • Migration pathway
  • Mud volcanoes
  • Western Turkmenistan


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