Abstract

The continuous bottom-simulating reflection (BSR) is commonly considered to mark the base of gas hydrate stability zone. Below this depth, gas hydrate gives away to free gas or water filling with pore spaces of sediments. We integrated and analyzed seismic data collected in 2008, and logging-while-drilling (LWD) data and coring results acquired by the Fugro Voyager in 2015 in the Shenhu area on the northern slope of the South China Sea. Based on seismic and well-log correlation, a BSR with typical characteristics of gas hydrates and free gas was identified at 237 m, below the mudline (BML). However, LWD data reveal a 63 m thick hydrate layer from 205 to 268 m BML. Increases in resistivity and velocity at 262 m BML indicate that gas hydrate is likely presented below the BSR. The observed pore-water freshening with depth and infrared image of core samples are consistent with geophysical interpretation. Seismic and well interpretations reveal continuous, discontinuous, and pluming BSRs in the Shenhu area. The continuous BSR indicates the base of the methane gas hydrate stability zone, and structure II gas hydrate is likely presented below the BSR. Deep thermogenic fluid locally entrapped within shallow-buried sediments may reinforce gas-hydrate accumulations near the discontinuous and pluming BSRs. We conclude that seismic responses of structure II gas hydrate can be distinct from structure I gas hydrate. Understanding the seismic characterizations of structures I and II will help in the evaluation of gas-hydrate reservoirs and inferring the presence of deep thermogenic reservoirs.

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