A global inventory of data from gas hydrate drilling expeditions is used to develop relationships between the base of structure I gas hydrate stability, top of gas hydrate occurrence, sulfate-methane transition depth, pressure (water depth), and geothermal gradients. The motivation of this study is to provide first-order estimates of the top of gas hydrate occurrence and associated thickness of the gas hydrate occurrence zone for climate-change scenarios, global carbon budget analyses, or gas hydrate resource assessments. Results from publicly available drilling campaigns (21 expeditions and 52 drill sites) off Cascadia, Blake Ridge, India, Korea, South China Sea, Japan, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Gulf of Mexico, and Borneo reveal a first-order linear relationship between the depth to the top and base of gas hydrate occurrence. The reason for these nearly linear relationships is believed to be the strong pressure and temperature dependence of methane solubility in the absence of large difference in thermal gradients between the various sites assessed. In addition, a statistically robust relationship was defined between the thickness of the gas hydrate occurrence zone and the base of gas hydrate stability (in meters below seafloor). The relationship developed is able to predict the depth of the top of gas hydrate occurrence zone using observed depths of the base of gas hydrate stability within less than 50 m at most locations examined in this study. No clear correlation of the depth to the top and base of gas hydrate occurrences with geothermal gradient and sulfate-methane transition depth was identified.
|Title||Observed correlation between the depth to base and top of gas hydrate occurrence from review of global drilling data|
|Authors||Michael Riedel, Timothy S. Collett|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Central Energy Resources Science Center|