Occurrence and seismic characteristics of gas hydrate in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea.

Yoo, Dong G., Kang, Nyeon K., Yi, Bo Y., Kim, Gil Y., Ryu, Byong J., Lee, Keumsuk, Lee, Gwang H. and Riedel, Michael (2013) Occurrence and seismic characteristics of gas hydrate in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 47 . pp. 236-247. DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.07.001.

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Multi-channel seismic reflection and well-log data from the Ulleung Basin, East Sea reveal several seismic signatures indicative of gas-hydrate occurrence in the Ulleung Basin that are associated with vertically and/or laterally stacked mass-transport complexes. The seismic indicators include (a) a bottom simulating reflector (BSR), (b) a seismic chimney, (c) high amplitude reflections within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), (d) acoustic blanking, (e) enhanced reflections below the BSR, and (f) seafloor gas-escape features. The BSR, associated with enhanced reflections below, is most commonly found over much of the basin indicating a physiochemical boundary of gas hydrates overlying free gas. Seismic chimneys are characterized by velocity pull-up and reduced reflectivity on the seismic sections, which appear to be caused by active migration of fluid gas vertically into the GHSZ. The logging data retrieved from the seismic chimneys showed elevated electrical resistivity (>80 Ohm-m) and P-wave velocity (>2000 m/s), indicating the presence of gas hydrate. Another seismic characteristic observed in gas hydrate bearing sediments is the strong amplitude reflections, defined by the relatively high reflectivity within the GHSZ. Acoustic blanking is likely to be the result of hydrate accumulation in the sediments causing a significant reduction of acoustic impedance contrast between sedimentary layers. Where the upward migrating gas seeps into the deep water column, seafloor pockmarks and mud mounds may be formed.

Gas hydrate was recovered from the Ulleung Basin, East Sea in 2010 during the Second Ulleung Basin Gas Hydrate Drilling Expedition (UBGH2) under the Korean National Gas Hydrate Program. Based on the results, gas-fluids migrate into the GHSZ through two distinct pathways: (1) structural conduits which include fault and fracture systems associated with seismic chimneys and (2) stratigraphic conduits associated with inclined turbidite/hemipelagic layers. Two types of gas-hydrate occurrence were identified in the basin: (1) a stratally-bound type (pore filling) within turbidite sand layers and (2) a locally concentrated type (massive, nodule or fracture filling) within upward-growing chimneys associated with near vertical faults. Relatively high concentrations of gas hydrate, however, tend to occur in localized seismic chimneys, rather than in the strata-related features. The successful recovery indicates that the Ulleung Basin provides favorable conditions for gas-hydrate formation.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Seismic indicators of gas hydrate; Occurrence types; Multi-channel seismic data; Ulleung Basin
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.07.001
ISSN: 0264-8172
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2015 08:22
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2015 08:22
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/30060

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