Interplay Between Gas Hydrates and Submarine Slope Failure

  • J. L. H. Grozic
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 28)


Interest in methane gas production from hydrate deposits has increased dramatically in the last decade. Gas hydrates are solid crystalline compounds that encage gas molecules inside a water molecule lattice. Gas hydrates are linked to large submarine slides, in part because hydrate dissociation results in loss of solid material, production of free gas, and increased fluid pressures; all which have the effect of reducing sediment strength. Laboratory experiments, small scale physical modeling, and theoretical slope stability analyses indicate that dissociation of even a small amount of hydrate can cause significant loss of sediment strength. Hydrate dissociation could be critical in inciting slope failures for low permeability sediments in shallower water depths. This paper presents recent results and advances on the intersection of gas hydrates and submarine slope stability, exploring the role of gas hydrates in triggering and/or propagating submarine mass movements.


Submarine slope gas hydrate geohazard slope stability methane gas dissociation excess pore pressure 



The author gratefully acknowledges Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for funding this project. I also thank the reviewers Drs. N. Sultan and W. Waite for their critique and valuable input into this manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. H. Grozic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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