Natural Gas Hydrates - Processes and Properties

Gas Hydrates in Marine Sediments: Lessons from Scientific Drilling

Gas Hydrates in Marine Sediments: Lessons from Scientific Drilling

Certain low-molecular-weight gases, such as methane, ethane, and carbon dioxide, can combine with water to form ice-like substances at high pressure or low temperature. 

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Journal of Geophysical Research

Journal of Geophysical Research

Predicting the occurrence, distribution, and evolution of methane gas hydrate in porous marine sediments from analytical models

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Science Center Objects

Natural gas hydrates, which mostly contain methane, are stable at the pressures and temperatures characteristic of sediments on marine continental margins (usually at water depths greater than 500 meters or 1640 feet at mid-latitudes) and in areas of continuous permafrost.  They are also stable beneath some ice sheets.  Gas hydrate deposits sequester an estimated 16% of global methane and are widely studied for their energy potential, interaction with the climate system, and possible role in submarine geohazards.  Numerical/analytical modeling of gas hydrate systems reveals insights about their formation, long-term stability, and breakdown. Laboratory analyses of the physical and geotechnical properties of hydrate-bearing sediments are critical to understanding the behavior of naturally occurring deposits.

 

Map of gas hydrate locations known and inferred

For more than 25 years, the U.S. Geological Survey Gas Hydrates Project has compiled and maintained an internal database of locations where the existence of gas hydrate has been confirmed or inferred in research studies. The existence of gas hydrate was considered confirmed when gas hydrate was recovered by researchers or videotaped from a vehicle (such as a submersible or remotely operated vehicle) near the sea floor. The existence of gas hydrate was considered inferred when seismic data, borehole logs, or certain geochemical characteristics match anomalies known to characterize gas hydrate. Download data

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