Thermal State of the Blake Ridge Gas Hydrate Stability Zone (GHSZ)—Insights on Gas Hydrate Dynamics from a New Multi-Phase Numerical Model.

Burwicz, Ewa B. and Rüpke, Lars (2019) Thermal State of the Blake Ridge Gas Hydrate Stability Zone (GHSZ)—Insights on Gas Hydrate Dynamics from a New Multi-Phase Numerical Model. Open Access Energies, 12 (17, article number 3403). DOI 10.3390/en12173403.

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Marine sediments of the Blake Ridge province exhibit clearly defined geophysical indications for the presence of gas hydrates and a free gas phase. Despite being one of the world’s best-studied gas hydrate provinces and having been drilled during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 164, discrepancies between previous model predictions and reported chemical profiles as well as hydrate concentrations result in uncertainty regarding methane sources and a possible co-existence between hydrates and free gas near the base of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). Here, by using a new multi-phase finite element (FE) numerical model, we investigate different scenarios of gas hydrate formation from both single and mixed methane sources (in-situ biogenic formation and a deep methane flux). Moreover, we explore the evolution of the GHSZ base for the past 10 Myr using reconstructed sedimentation rates and non-steady-state P-T solutions. We conclude that (1) the present-day base of the GHSZ predicted by our model is located at the depth of ~450 mbsf, thereby resolving a previously reported inconsistency between the location of the BSR at ODP Site 997 and the theoretical base of the GHSZ in the Blake Ridge region, (2) a single in-situ methane source results in a good fit between the simulated and measured geochemical profiles including the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) zone, and (3) previously suggested 4 vol.%–7 vol.% gas hydrate concentrations would require a deep methane flux of ~170 mM (corresponds to the mass of methane flux of 1.6 × 10−11 kg s−1 m−2) in addition to methane generated in-situ by organic carbon (POC) degradation at the cost of deteriorating the fit between observed and modelled geochemical profiles.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Blake Ridge, Gas hydrate, Methane, Numerical modeling, ODP Leg 164
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3390/en12173403
ISSN: 1996-1073
Projects: ODP
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2019 10:44
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:06

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