The USGS Gas Hydrates Project has published two new Fact Sheets. One describes the goals and scope of the Project and the other describes "Gas Hydrates in Nature," including where they form, how they are studied, and why researchers focus on gas hydrates for energy resource and environmental studies.
Ice-like gas hydrates under capping rock encrusted with mussels
Gas Hydrate Crystals
The scale is 50 micrometers (µm) or approximately 0.002 inches
Chunks of Gas Hydrate
Recovered from a few feet below the sea floor in the Arctic Ocean at a water depth of approximately 8,000 feet.
The Gas Hydrates Project at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) focuses on the study of methane hydrates in natural environments. The project is a collaboration between the USGS Energy Resources and the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Programs and works closely with other U.S. Federal agencies, some State governments, outside research organizations, and international partners. The USGS studies the formation and distribution of gas hydrates in nature, the potential of hydrates as an energy resource, and the interaction between methane hydrates and the environment. The USGS Gas Hydrates Project carries out field programs and participates in drilling expeditions to study marine and terrestrial gas hydrates. USGS scientists also acquire new geophysical data and sample sediments, the water column, and the atmosphere in areas where gas hydrates occur. In addition, project personnel analyze datasets provided by partners and manage unique laboratories that supply state-of-the-art analytical capabilities to advance national and international priorities related to gas hydrates.