Mass-transport deposits and gas hydrate occurrences in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea – Part 2: Gas hydrate content and fracture-induced anisotropy.

Riedel, Michael , Bahk, J.-J., Scholz, N.A., Ryu, B.-J., Yoo, D.-G., Kim, W. and Kim, G.Y. (2012) Mass-transport deposits and gas hydrate occurrences in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea – Part 2: Gas hydrate content and fracture-induced anisotropy. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 35 (1). pp. 75-90. DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2012.03.005.

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Mass-transport-deposits (MTDs) and hemipelagic mud interbedded with sandy turbidites are the main sedimentary facies in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea, offshore Korea. The MTDs show similar seismic reflection characteristics to gas-hydrate-bearing sediments such as regional seismic blanking (absence of internal reflectivity) and a polarity reversed base-reflection identical to the bottom-simulating reflector (BSR). Drilling in 2007 in the Ulleung Basin recovered sediments within the MTDs that exhibit elevated electrical resistivity and P-wave velocity, similar to gas hydrate-bearing sediments. In contrast, hemipelagic mud intercalated with sandy turbidites has much higher porosity and correspondingly lower electrical resistivity and P-wave velocity.

At drill-site UBGH1-4 the bottom half of one prominent MTD unit shows two bands of parallel fractures on the resistivity log-images indicating a common dip-azimuth direction of about ∼230° (strike of ∼140°). This strike-direction is perpendicular to the seismically defined flow-path of the MTD to the north-east. At Site UBGH1-14, the log-data suggest two zones with preferred fracture orientations (top: ∼250°, bottom: ∼130°), indicating flow-directions to the north-east for the top zone, and north-west for the bottom zone. The fracture patterns may indicate post-depositional sedimentation that gave rise to a preferred fracturing possibly linked to dewatering pathways. Alternatively, fractures may be related to the formation of pressure-ridges common within MTD units.

For the interval of observed MTD units, the resistivity and P-wave velocity log-data yield gas hydrate concentrations up to ∼10% at Site UBGH1-4 and ∼25% at Site UBGH1-14 calculated using traditional isotropic theories such as Archie's law or effective medium modeling. However, accounting for anisotropic effects in the calculation to honor observed fracture patterns, the gas hydrate concentration is overall reduced to less than 5%. In contrast, gas hydrate was recovered at Site UBGH1-4 near the base of gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). Log-data predict gas hydrate concentrations of 10–15% over an interval of 25 m above the base of GHSZ. The sediments of this interval are comprised of the hemipelagic mud and interbedded thin sandy turbidites, which did contain pore-filling gas hydrate as identified from pore-water freshening and core infra-red imaging. Seismically, this unit reveals a coherent parallel bedding character but has overall faint reflection amplitude. This gas-hydrate-bearing interval can be best mapped using a combination of regular seismic amplitude and seismic attributes such as Shale indicator, Parallel-bedding indicator, and Thin-bed indicator.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Mass-transport deposits; Gas hydrate; Fracture anisotropy; Seismic facies mapping
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2012.03.005
ISSN: 0264-8172
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2015 10:20
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2015 10:20

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