Hydrate-bearing sands and shallow nodular hydrate are potential energy resources and geohazards, and they both need to be better understood and identified. Therefore, it is useful to develop methodologies for modeling and simulating elastic constants of these hydrate-bearing sediments. A gas-hydrate rock-physics model based on the effective medium theory was successfully applied to dry rock, water-saturated rock, and hydrate-bearing rock. The model was used to investigate the seismic interpretation capability of hydrate-bearing sediments in the Gulf of Mexico by computing elastic constants, also known as seismic attributes, in terms of seismic interpretation, including the normal incident reflectivity (NI), Poisson’s ratio (PR), P-wave velocity (VP), S-wave velocity (VS), and density. The study of the model was concerned with the formation of gas hydrate, and, therefore, hydrate-bearing sediments were divided into hydrate-bearing sands, hydrate-bearing sands with free gas in the pore space, and shallow nodular hydrate. Although relations of hydrate saturation versus VP and VS are different between structures I and II gas hydrates, highly concentrated hydrate-bearing sands may be interpreted on poststack seismic amplitude sections because of the high NI present. The computations of elastic constant implied that hydrate-bearing sands with free gas could be detected with the crossplot of NI and PR from prestack amplitude analysis, and density may be a good hydrate indicator for shallow nodular hydrate, if it can be accurately estimated by seismic methods.

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