Prof. Dr. Marta E. Torres 

Oregon State University, USA
Mar 2025 - Apr 2025
Feb 2024 - May 2024
Aug 2018 - Aug 2018
Twin Fellow
Apr 2017 - Jul 2017
ICBM Fellowship at HWK
Jun 2015 - Aug 2015
May 2014 - Aug 2014
Apr 2013 - Jul 2013

Marta E. Torres

Projects & Publications


When sites of methane discharge on the seafloor were discovered offshore Oregon and Washington (U.S) in 1985, it was clear that they represented a new and important research arena. We needed to understand the mechanisms that drive the methane discharge, the origins of the fluids that carry the methane and the consequences that this process has on the geology and biology of the margin. Since then, myself and other scientists have participated in many expeditions to this and similar margins, which have provided significant and incremental knowledge. Among these advances is our realization that some of the methane in the sediment is sequestered into solid structures called gas hydrates. Gas hydrates are stable only within a sediment sliver that terminates at about 500 meters of water depth and their stability may be impacted by changes in bottom water temperatures. A new, MARUM-led expedition to the Cascadia margin is planned for 2025. My time at HWK will be dedicated to integrating existing information gathered thus far in this region (and elsewhere) in conjunction with scientists from the University of Bremen and the Alfred Wegener Institute. Together, we will develop strategies for an integrated field program to tackle outstanding questions regarding fluid-rock-biology interactions, their response to changing oceanic conditions, and the potential role they may play in earthquake generation.

Cooperation partner
Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Brumsack, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Bohrmann, Universität Bremen
Dr. Verena Heuer, Universität Bremen
Panieri, G., Bünz, S., Fornari, D. J., Escartin, J., Serov, P., Johnson, J. J., Jansson, P., Hong, W.-L., Sauer, S., Torres, M. E., Garcia, R., and Gracias, N. (2017). An integrated view of the methane system in the pockmarks at Vestnesa Ridge, 79°N. Marine Geology, 390, 282-300.
Hong, W.-L., Torres, M. E., Kim, J.-H., Choi, J., and Bahk, J.-J. (2014). Towards quantifying the reaction network around sulfate-methane-transition-zone in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea, with a kinetic modeling approach. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 140, 127-141.
Hong, W.-L., Torres, M. E., Carroll, J.-L., Crémière, A., Panieri, G., Yao, H., and Serov, P. (2017). Seepage from an arctic shallow marine gas hydrate reservoir is insensitive to momentary ocean warming. Nature Communications, 8, Article number 15745.
Mau, S., Gentz, T., Körber, J.-H., Torres, M. E., Römer, M., Sahling, H., Wintersteller, P., Martinez, R., Schlüter, M., and Helmke, E. (2015). Seasonal methane accumulation and release from a gas emission site in the central North Sea. Biogeosciences, 12 (18), 5261-5276.
Bohrmann, G and Torres, ME (2016). Methane in Marine Sediments. Harff, J, Meschede, M, Petersen, S and Thiede, J (eds.) Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series., Springer Netherlands, 495-499.
Bohrmann, G. and Torres, M. E. (2014). Methane in Marine Sediments. Encylopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer, Dordrecht.
Bohrmann, G and Torres, ME (2016). Marine Gas Hydrates. Harff, J, Meschede, M, Petersen, S and Thiede, J (eds.) Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series., Springer Netherlands, 433-437.
Bohrmann, G. and Torres, M. E. (2014). Marine Gas Hydrates. Encylopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer, Dordrecht.
Wallmann, K., Riedel, M., Hong, W. L., Patton, H., Hubbart, A., Pape, T., Hsu, C. W., Schmidt, C., Johnson, J. E., Torres, M. E., Andreassen, K., Berndt, C., and Bohrmann, G. (2018). Gas hydrate dissociation off Svalbard induced by isostatic rebound rather than global warming. Nature communications, 9 (1), Article number 83.
Römer, M., Torres, M., Kasten, S., Kuhn, G., Graham, A. G. C., Mau, S., Little, C. T. S., Linse, K., Pape, T., Geprägs, P., Fischer, D., Wintersteller, P., Marcon, Y., Rethemeyer, J., and Bohrmann, G (2014). First evidence of widespread active methane seepage in the Southern Ocean, off the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 403, 166-177.
Kim, J.-H., M. E. Torres, J. Y. Lee, W.-L. Hong, M. Holland, M.-H. Park, J. Choi, and G.-Y. Kim (2013). Depressurization Experiment of Pressure Cores from the Central Ulleung Basin, East Sea: Insights into Gas Chemistry. Organic Geochemistry, 62, 86-95.
Torres, M. E., Cox, T., Hong, W. L., McManus, J., Sample, J. C., Destrigneville, C., and Moreau, J. W. (2015). Crustal fluid and ash alteration impacts on the biosphere of Shikoku Basin sediments, Nankai Trough, Japan. Geobiology, 13 (6), 562-580.
Torres, ME and Bohrmann, G (2016). Cold Seeps. Harff, J, Meschede, M, Petersen, S and Thiede, J (eds.) Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series., Springer Netherlands, 117-122.
Torres, M. E., and Bohrmann, G. (2014). Cold Seeps. Encylopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer, Dordrecht.
Hong, W.-L., M. E. Torres, J.-H. Kim, J. Choi, and J.-J. Bahk (2013). Carbon Cycling Within the Sulfate-Methane-Transition-Zone in Marine Sediments from the Ulleung Basin. Biogeochemistry, 115 (1-3), 129-148.
Geprägs, P., Torres, M. E., Mau, S., Kasten, S., Römer, M., and Bohrmann, G. (2016). Carbon cycling fed by methane seepage at the shallow Cumberland Bay, South Georgia, sub-Antarctic. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 17 (4), 1401-1418.
Mau, S., Römer, M., Torres, M. E., Bussmann, I., Pape, T., Damm, E., Geprägs, P., Wintersteller, P., Hsu, C. W., Loher, M., and Bohrmann, G. (2017). Widespread methane seepage along the continental margin off Svalbard-from Bjørnøya to Kongsfjorden. Scientific Reports, 7, Article number: 42997.