U.S. Atlantic Margin Gas Hydrates and Methane Seeps

Science Center Objects

The U.S. Atlantic continental margin was one of the first locations where researchers recognized bottom simulating reflections, seismic features that are generally interpreted as marking the base of the gas hydrate stability zone in marine sediments.  Geophysical cruises and ocean drilling in the 1990s provided insight into the Blake Ridge gas hydrate province. In the past decade, hundreds of seafloor methane seeps have been discovered on this margin between Cape Hatteras and Georges Bank. The USGS has conducted many cruises to image water column methane plumes, support geochemical and benthic ecology studies related to the methane seeps, and constrain the distribution of gas hydrates between Cape Hatteras and southern New England.