The minimum distribution of gas hydrates on the U.S. Atlantic margin is from offshore South Carolina northward to the longitude of Shallop Canyon on the southern New England margin. Few wells have logged or sampled the gas hydrate zone on this margin, meaning that the presence of gas hydrates is inferred primarily based on seismic data that reveal bottom simulating reflections, mostly at water depths greater than 2000 m. The highest hydrate saturations most likely exist in sandy sediments of the Whale Prospect offshore New Jersey, New York, and the western part of Cape Cod, an area characterized by strong bottom simulating reflections. Such reflections are also imaged on the well-studied Blake Ridge, where fine-grained sediments host lower hydrate saturations that have been constrained by drilling. Within the section of the margin stretching from south of Cape Hatteras to nearly Hudson Canyon, the diagnostic seismic reflections are hard to discern, making inferences about gas hydrate distributions more uncertain. The recognition of as-yet unmapped bottom simulating reflections or top of gas features seaward of the 2000 m bathymetric contour (e.g., Cape Fear Slide, Currituck slide, beneath deepwater gas seeps) within the Mid-Atlantic Bight expands the area of probable gas hydrates on this margin.
|Title||U.S. Atlantic margin gas hydrates|
|Authors||Carolyn D. Ruppel, William Shedd, Nathaniel C. Miller, Jared W. Kluesner, Matthew Frye, Deborah Hutchinson|
|Publication Type||Book Chapter|
|Publication Subtype||Book Chapter|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center|