Relationship Between Acoustic Properties and Hydrate Saturation

  • Gaowei Hu
  • Yuguang Ye
  • Jian Zhang
  • Shaobo Diao
Part of the Springer Geophysics book series (SPRINGERGEOPHYS)


Geophysical prospecting method still plays an important role in gas hydrate explorations and quantifications. Many velocity models have been constructed to relate elastic velocities with hydrate saturations in the hydrate-bearing sediments. Unfortunately, it is found that the results predicted by these models are quite different. Observations on relationship between gas hydrate saturation and elastic velocities are needed to validate these models. Since the data of hydrate saturation in field exploration is insufficient, experimental methods to obtain the relationship between hydrate saturation and acoustic properties are thought to be economically and effectively. In this chapter, gas hydrate has been formed and subsequently dissociated in both consolidated sediments and unconsolidated sediments, respectively. The acoustic properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments are investigated by an acoustic detection. Simultaneously, hydrate saturations of the host sediments are measured by time domain reflectometry (TDR). With the experimental data, we verified seven velocity models (e.g., BGTL, Biot-Gassmann theory by Lee) that can predict velocities of both hydrate-bearing consolidated and unconsolidated sediments.


Hydrate Formation Acoustic Velocity Time Domain Reflectometry Effective Medium Theory Bottom Simulate Reflector 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Stern LA, Kirby SH, Durham WB, Circone S, Waite WF. Laboratory synthesis of pure methane hydrate suitable for measurement of physical properties and dissociation behavior. In: Max MD, editor. Natural gas hydrate in oceanic and permafrost environments. New York: Springer; 2000. p. 323–48.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Shipley TH, Houston MH, Buffler RT, Shaub FJ, McMillen KJ, Ladd JW, Worzel JL. Seismic evidence for widespread occurrence of possible gas hydrate horizons on continental slopes and rises. AAPG Bull. 1979;63(12):2204–13.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Holbrook WS, Hoskins H, Wood WT, Stephen RA, Lizarralde D. Methane hydrate and free gas on the Blake Ridge from vertical seismic profiling. Science. 1996;273:1840–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Carcione JM, Gei D. Gas-hydrate concentration estimated from P- and S-wave velocities at the Mallik 2L-38 research well, Mackenzie Delta, Canada. J Appl Geophys. 2004;56:73–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Zhang Yi, He Lijuan, Xu Xing, et al. The disagreement between BSRs and the base of methane hydrate stability zones in the Shenhu Area north of the South China Sea. Prog Geophys. 2009;24(1):183–94.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chapman NR, Gettrust J, Walia R, et al. High-resolution, deep-towed, multichannel seismic survey of deep-sea gas hydrates off western Canada. Geophysics. 2002;67(4):1038–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wyllie MRJ, Gregory AR, Gardner GHF. An experimental investigation of factors affecting elastic wave velocities in porous media. Geophysics. 1958;23:459–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pearson CF, Halleck PM, McGulre PL, et al. Natural gas hydrate: a review of in-situ properties. J Phys Chem. 1983;87:4180–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wood AB. A text book of sound. New York: Macmillan; 1941.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lee MW, Hutchinson DR, Collett IS, et al. Szeismic velocities for hydrate-bearing sediments using weighted equation. J Geophys Res. 1996;101:20347–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Helgerud MB, Dvorkin J, Nur A. Elastic-wave velocity in marine sediments with gas hydrates: effective medium modeling. Geophys Res Lett. 1999;26(13):2121–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zillmer M. A method for determining gas-hydrate or free-gas saturation of porous media from seismic measurements. Geophysics. 2006;71:21–32.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lee MW. Modified Biot-Gassmann theory for calculating elastic velocities for unconsolidated and consolidated sediments. Mar Geophys Res. 2002;23:403–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hyndman RD, Spence GD. A seismic study of methane hydrate marine bottom simulating reflectors. J Geophys Res. 1992;97:6683–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kuster GT, Toksöz MN. Velocity and attenuation of seismic waves in two-phase media, 1, Theoretical formulation. Geophysics. 1974;39:587–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Zhang HQ, Yang SX, Wu NY, et al. China’s first gas hydrate expedition successful. Fire in the Earth. Methane Hydrate Newsletter, National Technology Laboratory, US department of Energy, 2007, Spring/Summer Issue. 2007;1:4−8.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wu NY, Zhang HQ, Su X, et al. High concentrations of hydrate in disseminated forms found in very fine-grained sediments of Shenhu Area, South China Sea. Terra Nostra. 2007;1–2:236–7.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lu Jing’an, Yang Shengxiong, Wu Nengyou, et al. Well logging evaluation of gas hydrates in Shenhu Area, South China Sea. Geoscience. 2008;22(3):447–51.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Expedition 311 Scientists. Cascadia margin gas hydrates. IODP Prelim Rep. 2005;311. doi: doi:10:2204/
  20. 20.
    Chand S, Minshull TA, Gei D, et al. Elastic velocity models for gas-hydrate-bearing sediments-a comparison. Geophys J Int. 2004;159:573–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ojha M, Sain K. Appraisal of gas-hydrate/free-gas from Vp/Vs ratio in the Makran accretionary prism. Mar Pet Geol. 2008;25:637–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hu Gaowei, Ye Yuguang, Zhang Jian, et al. Study on gas hydrate formation-dissociation and its acoustic responses in unconsolidated sands. Geoscience. 2008;22(3):465–74.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hu Gaowei, Zhang Jian, Ye Yuguang, et al. Acoustic investigation experiment on gas hydrate-bearing artificial cores. Mar Geol Quat Geol. 2008;28(1):135–41.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ye Yuguang, Zhang Jian, Hu Gaowei, et al. Experimental research on relationship between gas hydrate saturation and acoustic parameters. Chin J Geophys. 2008;51(4):1156–64.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hu G, Ye Y, Zhang J, et al. Study on acoustic properties during gas hydrate formation and dissociation in sediments. Paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Gas Hydrate, British Columbia, Canada; 2008.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hu GW, Ye YG, Zhang J, et al. Acoustic properties of gas hydrate-bearing consolidated sediments and experimental testing of elastic velocity models. J Geophys Res. 2010;115:B02102. doi: 10.1029/2008JB006160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Zhang Jian, Ye Yuguang, Shaobo D, et al. Application of ultrasonic detecting technology in the experimental study of gas hydrate. Geoscience. 2005;19(1):113–8.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Prasad M, Dvorkin J. Velocity and attenuation of compressional waves in brines. SEG Expand Abstr. 2004;23:1666. doi: 10.1190/1.1845150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Yoslim J, Englezos P. The effect of surfactant on the morphology of methane/propane clathrate hydrate crystals. Paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Gas Hydrate, British Columbia, Canada; 2008.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kingston E, Clayton C, Priest J. Gas hydrate growth morphologies and their effect on the stiffness and damping of a hydrate bearing sand. Paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Gas Hydrate, British Columbia, Canada; 2008.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Beltrán JG, Servio P. Morphology studies on gas hydrates interacting with silica gel. Paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Gas Hydrate, British Columbia, Canada; 2008.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Guerin G, Goldberg DS, Collett TS. Sonic velocities in an active gas hydrate system, Hydrate Ridge. Proc Ocean Drill Progr Sci Results. 2006;204:1–38.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Winters WJ, Pecher IA, Booth JS, et al. Properties of samples containing natural gas hydrate from the JAPEX/JNOC/GSC Mallik 2L-38 gas hydrate research well, determined using Gas Hydrate and Sediment Test Laboratory Instrument (GHASTLI). Geol Surv Can Bull. 1999;544:241–50.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Winters WJ, Waite WF, Mason DH, et al. Sediment properties associated with gas hydrate formation. In: 4th International Conference on Gas Hydrate, Yokohama, Japan, 19−23 May 2002, p. 722−7.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Winters WJ, Waite WF, Pecher IA, et al. Comparison of methane gas hydrate formation on physical properties of fine- and coarse-grained sediments. In: AAPG Hedberg Conference “Gas hydrate: Energy Resource Potential and Associated Geologic Hazards”, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 12−16 Sept 2004, p. 1−5.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Winters WJ, Waite WF, Mason DH, et al. Methane gas hydrate effect on sediment acoustic and strength properties. J Pet Sci Eng. 2007;56:127–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Waite WF, Winters WJ, Mason DH. Methane hydrate formation in partially water-saturated Ottawa sand. Am Mineral. 2004;89:1202–7.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Waite WF, Kneafsey TJ, Winters WJ, et al. Physical property changes in hydrate-bearing sediment due to depressurization and subsequent repressurization. J Geophys Res. 2008;113(B7):1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Priest J, Best A, Clayton C, et al. A laboratory investigation into the seismic velocities of methane gas hydrate-bearing sand. J Geophys Res. 2005;110:B04102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Priest JA, Rees EVL, Clayton CRI. Influence of gas hydrate morphology on the seismic velocities of sands. J Geophys Res. 2009;114:B11205. doi: 10.1029/2009JB006284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Yang J, Llamedo M, Marinakis D, et al. Successful application of a versatile ultrasonic test system for gas hydrates in unconsolidated sediments. Paper presented at Fifth International Conference on Gas Hydrates, Trondheim, Norway, 12−16 June 2005.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Yun TS, Francisca FM, Santamarina JC. Compressional and shear wave velocities in uncemented sediment containing gas hydrate. Geophys Res Lett. 2005;32:L10609. doi: 10.1029/2005GL022607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Yun TS, Santamarina JC, Ruppel C. Mechanical properties of sand, silt, and clay containing tetrahydrofuran hydrate. J Geophys Res. 2007;112:B04106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Yun TS, Narsilio GA, Santamarina JC, et al. Instrumented pressure testing chamber for characterizing sediment cores recovered at in situ hydrostatic pressure. Mar Geol. 2006;229:285–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Lee JY, Yun TS, Santamarina JC, et al. Observations related to tetrahydrofuran and methane hydrates for laboratory studies of hydrate-bearing sediments. Geochem Geophys Geosyst. 2007;8:Q06003. doi: 10.1029/2006GC001531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Wang Dong, Li Dongliang, Zhang Hailan, et al. Effects of temperature and pressure on acoustic P-wave properties of natural gas hydrate specimen. Sci China (Ser G). 2008;38(8):1038–45.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ren SR, Liu YJ, Liu YX, et al. Acoustic velocity and electrical resistance of hydrate bearing sediments. J Pet Sci Eng. 2010;70(1–2):52–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Zhang Weidong, Liu Yongjun, Ren Shaoran, et al. Acoustic velocity model of hydrate bearing sediments. J China Univ Pet (Ed Nat Sci). 2008;32(4):60–3.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Mavko G, Nur A. Wave attenuation in partially saturated rocks. Geophysics. 1979;44:161–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Wang Kailin, Yang Shengqi, Su Chengdong. Study on the acoustic property of marble specimens with different grains. Hydrogeol Eng Geol. 2004;32(2):30–2.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Sun Chunyan, Zhang Mingyu, Niu Binhua, et al. Micromodels of gas hydrate and their velocity estimation methods. Earth Sci Front. 2003;10(1):191–8.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Dvorkin J, Prasad M, Sakai A, et al. Elasticity of marine sediments: rock physics modeling. Geophys Res Lett. 1999;26(12):1781–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Hu Gaowei, Ye Yuguang, Zhang Jian, et al. Micro-models of gas hydrate and their impact on the acoustic properties of the host sediments. Nat Gas Ind. 2010;30(3):120–4.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Stern LA, Kirby SH, Durharn WB. Peculiarities of methane clathrate hydrate formation and solid-state deformation, including possible superheating of water ice. Science. 1996;273:1843–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaowei Hu
    • 1
  • Yuguang Ye
    • 1
  • Jian Zhang
    • 1
  • Shaobo Diao
    • 1
  1. 1.Gas Hydrate LaboratoryQingdao Institute of Marine Geology, China Geological SurveyQingdaoChina

Personalised recommendations