World Atlas of Submarine Gas Hydrates in Continental Margins (Paperback)
This world atlas presents a comprehensive overview of the gas-hydrate systems of our planet with contributions from esteemed international researchers from academia, governmental institutions and hydrocarbon industries. The book illustrates, describes and discusses gas hydrate systems, their geophysical evidence and their future prospects for climate change and continental margin geohazards from passive to active margins. This includes passive volcanic to non-volcanic margins including glaciated and non-glaciated margins from high to low latitudes. Shallow submarine gas hydrates allow a glimpse into the past from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to modern environmental conditions to predict potential changes in future stability conditions while deep submarine gas hydrates remained more stable. This demonstrates their potential for rapid reactions for some gas hydrate provinces to a warming world, as well as helping to identify future prospects for environmental research. Three-dimensional and high-resolution seismic imaging technologies provide new insights into fluid flow systems in continental margins, enabling the identification of gas and gas escape routes to the seabed within gas hydrate environments, where seabed habitats may flourish. The volume contains a method section detailing the seismic imaging and logging while drilling techniques used to characterize gas hydrates and related dynamic processes in the sub seabed. This book is unique, as it goes well beyond the geophysical monograph series of natural gas hydrates and textbooks on marine geophysics. It also emphasizes the potential for gas hydrate research across a variety of disciplines. Observations of bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) in 2D and 3D seismic reflection data combined with velocity analysis, electromagnetic investigations and gas-hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) modelling, provide the necessary insights for academic interests and hydrocarbon industries to understand the potential extent and volume of gas hydrates in a wide range of tectonic settings of continental margins. Gas hydrates control the largest and most dynamic reservoir of global carbon. Especially 4D, 3D seismic but also 2D seismic data provide compelling sub-seabed images of their dynamical behavior. Sub-seabed imaging techniques increase our understanding of the controlling mechanisms for the distribution and migration of gas before it enters the gas-hydrate stability zone. As methane hydrate stability depends mainly on pressure, temperature, gas composition and pore water chemistry, gas hydrates are usually found in ocean margin settings where water depth is more than 300 m and gas migrates upward from deeper geological formations. This highly dynamic environment may precondition the stability of continental slopes as evidenced by geohazards and gas expelled from the sea floor. This book provides new insights into variations in the character and existence of gas hydrates and BSRs in various geological environments, as well as their dynamics. The potentially dynamic behavior of this natural carbon system in a warming world, its current and future impacts on a variety of Earth environments can now be adequately evaluated by using the information provided in the world atlas. This book is relevant for students, researchers, governmental agencies and oil and gas professionals. Some familiarity with seismic data and some basic understanding of geology and tectonics are recommended.