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What is Gas Hydrate?

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Jessica Robertson. Today's question is an intriguing one.

What is Gas Hydrate?

Gas Hydrates are ice-like crystalline solids formed from mixtures of water and natural gas, usually methane. They are found in sub-permafrost locations on land in polar regions and on most continental margins of the world in near sea-floor sediments below about 500 m water depth, which is approximately 1,600 ft. They occur where pressure, temperature, gas saturation, and local chemical conditions combine to make it stable. Gas Hydrates occur in the pore spaces of sediments, and may form cements, nodes or layers.

Also, natural Gas Hydrates contain highly concentrated methane, which could be important both as an energy resource and as a factor in global climate change.

And now you know. Join us again every weekday for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an email at or a phone call at 703-648-5600. Remember, long distance fees do apply.

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