Gas Hydrate Offshore Vancouver Island, Northern Cascadia Margin
M. Riedel, Eleanor C. Willoughby, Nigel Edwards, Roy D. Hyndman, George D. Spence, Ross Chapman, Marc-Andre Chen, Ivana Novosel, Katrin Schwalenberg, 2009. "Gas Hydrate Offshore Vancouver Island, Northern Cascadia Margin", Natural Gas Hydrates—Energy Resource Potential and Associated Geologic Hazards, T. Collett, A. Johnson, C. Knapp, R. Boswell
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This chapter reviews the extensive geophysical studies and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) results that provide constraints on the occurrence, distribution, and concentration of deep-sea gas hydrate beneath the northern Cascadia margin offshore Vancouver Island. Most of this information comes from a wide range of seismic surveys and includes the mapping of the bottom-simulating reflector (BSR), as well as estimating gas-hydrate and free-gas concentrations. Recent additional constraints on the distribution and concentration of gas hydrate come from sea-floor-towed, controlled-source electromagnetic surveying and sea-floor compliance studies. These surveys and studies have been primarily deployed around a cold vent field, where seismic data show several broad blank zones, interpreted as fault-related conduits for focused fluid-gas migration, and where gas hydrate has been recovered in piston cores at the sea floor.
Results from the ODP Leg 146 and the recently completed Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 311 further constrain concentration estimates for gas hydrate and free gas in the sediments along the margin and also give insight into the complex formation mechanisms and controlling factors for gas hydrate occurrence in an accretionary complex.
This summary was first presented in September 2004 at the AAPG Hedberg Research Conference on gas hydrates. Subsequently, 1 yr later, the drilling of IODP Expedition 311 resulted in a significant amount of new information and insight into the occurrence and formation processes of gas hydrate at the northern Cascadia margin. This chapter provides only a short summary of the results from that IODP Expedition. Reviews of the results from that drill coring and the downhole measurements are in progress.
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In September 2004, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) convened a Hedberg Research Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada titled "Natural Gas Hydrates: Energy Resource Potential and Associated Geologic Hazards." As a continuation of the Hedberg Research Conference in Vancouver, the conveners of the conference and the editors of this Memoir have worked with more than 150 authors and coauthors to prepare this Memoir on gas hydrates. This publication follows the goals of the Hedberg conference; however, the contents of this Memoir were expanded to include all aspects of gas hydrates in nature. This Memoir contains 39 individual contributions, ranging from long topical summaries to shorter focused research papers. This Memoir has been published in two parts, with digital versions of all the complete research papers included on the enclosed CD. The hardcopy portion of the Memoir includes abstracts and several key figures for each of the contributions along with a complete copy of a gas hydrate technical review. The digital portion of this Memoir has been organized into a series of topical sections consisting of review articles, marine gas hydrate papers, and gas hydrate laboratory and modeling studies. Because of the rapidly emerging worldwide interest in gas hydrates, this comprehensive treatise on the geology of gas hydrates will be valuable to both the gas hydrate research community and exploration/development geologists working in arctic and deep marine environments.