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Global compilation of published gas hydrate-related bottom simulating reflections

March 13, 2023

Bottom simulating reflections (BSRs) are seismic features that are imaged in marine sediments using high-energy, impulsive seismic sources such as air guns or generator-injector guns. BSRs often cut across sediment stratigraphy and are interpreted as marking the deepest depth at which gas hydrate can exist. Gas hydrate is a naturally occurring and widely distributed frozen form of water and gas (usually methane) stable at low temperatures (up to about 25 degrees Celsius [°C]) and intermediate pressures (those that usually correspond to greater than 500 meters water depth). BSRs have been mapped in all the world’s oceans, in inland seas (such as the Black Sea), and in Lake Baikal in Russia. This data release consists of a GeoPackage that compiles digitized BSR maps from published scientific papers and other sources into a single resource, with attribution to the original researchers. An associated spreadsheet provides the same descriptive information about each of the original BSR maps in a form accessible without opening the GeoPackage. A GeoPackage is an open-source, platform-independent, standards-based package of geospatial data for a geographic information system (GIS). To formulate the dataset, published BSR maps were georeferenced, digitized, and converted to a common geographic coordinate system, and the resulting files were assigned a quality factor based on characteristics of the original maps and the difficulty of georeferencing. As described in detail in the associated metadata, most maps had a single polygon or multiple polygons enclosing the area where BSRs were recognized by the original researchers. Some maps had only circles or ovals around areas interpreted as containing BSRs, and these geometric shapes were digitized for the database. A few maps indicated the precise segments of individual seismic lines where BSRs are identified, resulting in BSRs being digitized as polylines instead of polygons. Polygons for BSRs in the northern Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Atlantic margin are based on files provided for direct release (no georeferencing necessary) by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Publication Year 2023
Title Global compilation of published gas hydrate-related bottom simulating reflections
DOI 10.5066/P9IW5CL7
Authors Amelia R How, Carolyn Ruppel
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center