Geological controls on the distribution of gas hydrates in the shallow parts of the gas hydrate stability zone – constraints from seafloor drilling off Taiwan.

Bohrmann, Gerhard, Berndt, Christian , Lin, S., Tu, T.-H., Lin, A.T., Hsu, H.-H., Lai, M.-L., Chi, W.-C., Deusner, Christian , Elger, Judith , Wallmann, Klaus , Freudenthal, T., Mau, S., Pape, T., Tseng, Y.-T., Yu, P.-S., Fan, L.-F., Chen, J.-N., Chen, S.-C., Chen, T.-T. and Wei, K.-Y. (2023) Geological controls on the distribution of gas hydrates in the shallow parts of the gas hydrate stability zone – constraints from seafloor drilling off Taiwan. Open Access Marine and Petroleum Geology, 153 . Art.Nr. 106253. DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2023.106253.

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The presence of gas hydrates is well known in the marine realm southwest off Taiwan due to the widespread distribution of bottom simulating reflectors in seismic records. To learn more about gas hydrate systems and their dynamics at passive and active margins, we drilled boreholes with MARUM-MeBo200 seafloor drill rig at areas where geophysical indications for gas hydrates have been detected in the past. Several gas hydrate proxies like negative chloride anomalies in the pore water, cold spots detected by infrared thermal scans on cores, increased resistivity, and lithological parameters clearly showed the presence of hydrates in the drilled sections. However, gas hydrate was not recovered by MeBo most likely because of small crystal sizes which dissociated during recovery from the seafloor. Three holes were drilled at southern summit of Formosa Ridge down to 126 m below seafloor (mbsf) and recovered sediments from which in situ hydrate saturation values were estimated between 1 and 10% at 15–42 mbsf and even higher values of up to 38% below 100 mbsf. The latter are probably related to the sealing effect of carbonate precipitation which occur at 85–95 mbsf directly above the hydrate-enriched layer. Four holes were drilled at Four-Way Closure Ridge where a maximum drilling depth of 143.90 m was reached. Hydrate presence starts in 65 mbsf continuing down-core with a range of 1–29% gas hydrate saturation in fine-grained homogenous clay. An abrupt change to higher gas hydrate saturation values of up to 80% occurs below 109 mbsf where silty and sandy turbidite layers are often intercalated. Such high gas hydrate contents only occur in the sand layers and not in the fine-grained sediments intercalated to the sand deposits.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: BMBF: 03G0288A
Keywords: Gas hydrate, Taiwan, Passive and active margin
Research affiliation: MARUM
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Main POF Topic: PT8: Georesources
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Elsevier
Related URLs:
Projects: TaiDrill
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2023 13:09
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2024 15:39

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