Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 27, Issue 2–4, pp 269–277 | Cite as

Fabric of gas hydrate in sediments from Hydrate Ridge—results from ODP Leg 204 samples

Original

Abstract

Drilling on Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon, during ODP Leg 204 enabled us to investigate fabrics of gas hydrate samples in a wide depth range of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). X-ray computerized tomographic imaging on whole-round samples, frozen in liquid nitrogen, revealed that layered gas hydrate structures are related to variable processes occurring at different sediment depths. Shallow gas hydrates often form layers parallel or sub-parallel to bedding and also crosscut sedimentary strata and other gas hydrate layers, destroying the original depositional fabric. The dynamic processes interacting with this complicated plumbing system in this shallow environment are responsible for such highly variable gas hydrate fabrics. Gas hydrate layers deeper in the sediments are most often dipping with various angles, and are interpreted as gas hydrate precipitates filling tectonic fractures. These originally open fractures are potential candidates for free gas transportation, and might explain why free gas can rapidly emanate from below the bottom-simulating reflector through the GHSZ to the seafloor.

Supplementary material

367_2007_80_MOESM1_ESM.avi (5.5 mb)
Supplement 1(AVI 5755 kb)
367_2007_80_MOESM2_ESM.avi (3.5 mb)
Supplement 2(AVI 3678 kb)

References

  1. Abegg F, Anderson AL (1997) The acoustic turbid layer in muddy sediments of Eckernfoerde Bay, Western Baltic: methane concentration, saturation, and bubble characteristics. Mar Geol 137:137–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abegg F, Freitag J, Bohrmann G, Brueckmann W, Eisenhauer E, Aman H, Hohnberg H-J (2003) Free gas bubbles in the hydrate stability zone: evidence from CT investigation under in situ conditions. In: Abstr Vol EGS-AGU-EUG Joint Assembly, 6–11 April 2003, Nice, Abstr #EAE-A-10342Google Scholar
  3. Abegg F, Bohrmann G, Kuhs W (2006) Data report: shapes and structures of gas hydrates imaged by computed tomographic-analyses. ODP Leg 204, Hydrate Ridge. In: Trehú AM, Bohrmann G, Torres ME, Colwell FS (eds) Proc ODP Sci Results 204. Ocean Drilling Program, College Station, TX (http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/204_SR/122/122.htm)
  4. Anderson AL, Gantzer CJ, Boone JM, Tully RJ (1988) Rapid non-destructive bulk density and soil-water content determination by computed tomography. Soil Sci Soc Am J 52:35–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bohrmann G, Torres ME (2006) Gas hydrates in marine sediments. In: Schulz HD, Zabel M (eds) Marine geochemistry. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 418–512Google Scholar
  6. Bohrmann G, Greinert J, Suess E, Torres ME (1998) Authigenic carbonates from the Cascadia subduction zone and their relation to gas hydrate stability. Geology 26(7):647–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bohrmann G, Suess E, Greinert J, Teichert B, Naehr T (2002) Gas hydrate carbonates from Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia convergent margin: indicators of near-seafloor clathrate deposits. In: Proc 4th Int Conf Gas Hydrates, Yokohama, Japan, pp 102–107Google Scholar
  8. Boudreau BP, Algar C, Johnson BD, Croudace I, Reed A, Furukawa Y, Dorgan KM, Jumars PA, Grader AS (2005) Bubble growth and rise in soft sediments. Geology 33(6):517–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clennell MB, Judd A, Hovland M (2000) Movement and accumulation of methane in marine sediments: relation to gas hydrate systems. In: Max MD (ed) Natural gas hydrate in oceanic and permafrost environments. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 105–122Google Scholar
  10. Dickens GR, Castillo MM, Walker JCG (1997) A blast of gas in the latest Paleocene: simulating first-order effects of massive dissociation of oceanic methane hydrate. Geology 25(3):259–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ginsburg GD, Soloviev VA (1997) Methane migration within the submarine gas-hydrate stability zone under deep-water conditions. Mar Geol 137:49–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Heeschen KU, Tréhu AM, Collier RW, Suess E, Rehder G (2003) Distribution and height of methane bubble plumes on the Cascadia Margin characterized by acoustic imaging. Geophys Res Lett 30(12):45,1–45,5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Houndsfield GN (1973) Computerized transverse axial scanning (tomography). Part I. Description of system. Br J Radiol 46:1016–1022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hovland M (2000) Are there commercial deposits of marine hydrates in ocean sediments? Energy Explor Exploit 18(4):339–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnson JE, Goldfinger C, Suess E (2003) Geophysical constraints on the surface distribution of authigenic carbonates across the Hydrate Ridge region, Cascadia margin. Mar Geol 202:79–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kuhs W, Genov G, Goreshnik E, Zeller A, Techmer KS (2004) The impact of porous microstructures of gas hydrates on their macroscopic properties. Int J Offshore Polar Eng 14(4):1–5Google Scholar
  17. Kvenvolden K (1998) Gas hydrates: a primer on the geological occurrence of gas hydrate. In: Henriet JP, Mienert J (eds) Gas hydrates: relevance to world margin stability and climate change. Geological Society, London, pp 9–30Google Scholar
  18. Malone R (1985) Gas hydrates. Department of Energy, Morgantown Energy Technology Center, Topical Rep DOE/METC/SP-218Google Scholar
  19. Milkov AV, Dickens GR, Claypool GE, Lee YJ, Borowski WS, Torres ME, Xu W, Tomaru H, Tréhu AM, Schultheiss P (2004a) Co-existence of gas hydrate, free gas, and brine within the regional gas hydrate stability zone at Hydrate Ridge (Oregon margin): evidence from prolonged degassing of a pressurized core. EPSL 222:829–843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Milkov AV, Claypool GE, Lee YJ, Torres ME, Borowski WS, Tomaru H, Sassen R, Long PE, ODP Leg 204 Scientific Party (2004b) Ethane enrichment and propane depletion in subsurface gases indicate gas hydrate occurrence in marine sediments at Hydrate Ridge offshore Oregon. Org Geochem 35:1067–1080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Orsi TH, Anderson AL, Leonard JN, Bryant WB, Edwards CM (1992) Use of X-ray computed tomography in the study of marine sediments. Proc Civil Eng Oceans V:968–981Google Scholar
  22. Paull CK, Buelow WJ, Ussler III W, Borowski WS (1996a) Increased continental-marine slumping frequency during sea-level lowstands above gas hydrate-bearing sediments. Geology 24(2):143–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Paull CK, Matsumoto R, Wallace PJ et al (1996b) Proc ODP Init Rep 164. Ocean Drilling Program, College Station, TXCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Petrovic AM, Siebert JE, Rieke PE (1982) Soil bulk density analysis in three dimensions by computed tomographic scanning. Soil Sci Soc Am J 46:445–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Riedel M, Long P, Liu CS, Schultheiss P, Collett T, ODP Leg 204 Shipboard Scientific Party (2006) Physical properties of near-surface sediments at southern Hydrate Ridge: results from ODP Leg 204. In: Trehú AM, Bohrmann G, Torres ME, Colwell FS (eds) Proc ODP Sci Results 204. Ocean Drilling Program, College Station, TX (http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/204_SR/104/104.htm)
  26. Shipboard Scientific Party (2002) Preliminary Report. ODP Preliminary Rep 204 (http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/prelim/204_prel/204toc.html, sighted 14 November 2005)
  27. Sloane ED (1998) Clathrate hydrates of natural gases. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Suess E, Torres ME, Bohrmann G, Collier RW, Greinert J, Linke P, Rehder G, Tréhu AM, Wallmann K, Winckler G, Zuleger E (1999) Gas hydrate destabilization: enhanced dewatering, benthic material turnover and large methane plumes at the Cascadia convergent margin. EPSL 170:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Suess E, Torres ME, Bohrmann G, Collier RW, Rickert D, Goldfinger C, Linke P, Heuser A, Sahling H, Heeschen K, Jung C, Nakamura K, Greinert J, Pfannkuche O, Tréhu A, Klinkhammer G, Whiticar MJ, Eisenhauer A, Teichert B, Elvert M (2001) Sea floor methane hydrates at Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Margin. In: Paull CK, Dillon WP (eds) Natural gas hydrates: occurrence, distribution, and detection. Geophys Monogr 124:87–98Google Scholar
  30. Suess E, Bohrmann G, Rickert D, Kuhs WF, Torres ME, Tréhu A, Linke P (2002) Properies and fabric of near-surface methane hydrates at Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Margin. In: Proc 4th Int Conf Gas Hydrates, Yokohama, Japan, pp 740–744Google Scholar
  31. Tohidi B, Anderson R, Clennel MB, Burgass RW, Biderkab AB (2001) Visual observation of gas-hydrate formation and dissociation in synthetic porous media by means of glass micromodels. Geology 29(9):867–870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Torres ME, McManus J, Hammond DE, de Angelis MA, Heeschen KU, Colbert SL, Tryon MD, Brown KM, Suess E (2002) Fluid and chemical fluxes in and out of sediments hosting methane hydrate deposits on Hydrate Ridge, OR. I. Hydrological provinces. EPSL 201:525–540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Torres ME, Wallmann K, Tréhu AM, Bohrmann G, Borowski WS, Tomaru H (2004) Gas hydrate growth, methane transport, and chloride enrichment at the southern summit of Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia margin off Oregon. EPSL 226:225–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tréhu AM, Bohrmann G, Rack FR, Torres ME et al (2003) Proc ODP Init Rep 204. Ocean Drilling Program, Texas A&M University, College Station, TXGoogle Scholar
  35. Tréhu AM, Long PE, Torres ME, Bohrmann G, Rack FR, Collett TS, Goldberg DS, Milkov AV, Riedel M, Schultheiss P, Bangs NL, Barr SR, Borowski WS, Claypool GE, Delwiche ME, Dickens GR, Gracia E, Guerin G, Holland M, Johnson JE, Lee YJ, Liu CS, Su X, Teichert B, Tomaru H, Vanneste M, Watanabe M, Weinberger J (2004a) Three-dimensional distribution of gas hydrate beneath southern Hydrate Ridge: constraints from ODP Leg 204. EPSL 222:845–862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tréhu AM, Flemmings PB, Bangs NL, Chevallier J, Gracia E, Johnson JE, Liu CS, Liu X, Riedel M, Torres ME (2004b) Feeding methane vents and gas hydrate deposits at south Hydrate Ridge. Geophys Res Lett 31 L 23310 DOI 10.1029/2004GL021286
  37. Warner GS, Nieber JL, Moore ID, Geise RA (1990) Characterizing macropores in soil by computed tomography. Soil Sci Soc Am J 53:653–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center Ocean MarginsUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und MeeresforschungBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.GeoZentrum Göttingen, Abt. KristallographieUniversity GöttingenGöttingenGermany

Personalised recommendations