Detecting hydrate and fluid flow from bottom simulating reflector depth anomalies.

Hornbach, Matthew J., Bangs, Nathan L. and Berndt, Christian (2012) Detecting hydrate and fluid flow from bottom simulating reflector depth anomalies. Geology, 40 (3). pp. 227-230. DOI 10.1130/G32635.1.

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Abstract

Methane hydrates, ice-like compounds that consist of water and methane, represent a potentially enormous unconventional methane resource that may play a critical role in climate change and ocean acidification; however, it remains unclear how much hydrate exists. Here, using a newly developed three-dimensional (3-D) thermal technique, we reveal a novel method for detecting and quantifying methane hydrate. The analysis reveals where fluids migrate in three dimensions across a continental margin and is used to quantify hydrate with meter-scale horizontal resolution. Our study, located at Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon (United States), suggests that heat flow and hydrate concentrations are coupled and that 3-D thermal analysis can be used to constrain hydrate and fluid flow in 3-D seismic data. Hydrate estimates using this technique are consistent with 1-D drilling results, but reveal large, previously unrecognized swaths of hydrate-rich sediments that have gone undetected due to spatially limited drilling and sampling techniques used in past studies. The 3-D analysis suggests that previous hydrate estimates based on drilling at this site are low by a factor of approximately three.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: GSA Data Repository item 2012057, Figure DR1 (controls on the depth of the gas hydrate stability zone) and Figure DR2 (hydrate concentration vs. heat flow), is available online at www.geosociety.org/pubs/ft2012.htm, or on request from editing@geosociety.org or Documents Secretary, GSA, P.O. Box 9140, Boulder, CO 80301, USA.
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1130/G32635.1
ISSN: 0091-7613
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 14 May 2014 10:01
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 13:10
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/24045

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