Abstract

Gas hydrates in the oceanic subsurface are often difficult to image with reflection seismic data, particularly when the strata run parallel to the seafloor and in regions that lack the presence of a bottom-simulating reflector (BSR). To address and understand these imaging complications, rock-physics modeling and seismic attribute analysis are performed on modern 2D lines in the Pegasus Basin in New Zealand, where the BSR is not continuously imaged. Based on rock-physics and seismic analyses, several seismic attribute methods identify weak BSR reflections, with the far-angle stack data being particularly effective. Rock modeling results demonstrate that far-offset seismic data are critical in improving the imaging and interpretation of the base of the gas hydrate stability zone. The rock-physics modeling results are applied to the Pegasus 2009 2D data set that reveals a very weak seismic reflection at the base of the hydrates in the far-angle stack. This often-discontinuous reflection is significantly weaker in amplitude than typical BSRs associated with hydrates. These weak far-angle stack BSRs often do not appear clearly in full stack data, the most commonly interpreted seismic data type. Additional amplitude variation with angle (AVA) attribute analyses provide insight into identifying the presence of gas hydrates in regions lacking a strong BSR. Although dozens of seismic attributes were investigated for their ability to reveal weak reflections at the base of the gas hydrate stability zone, those that enhance class 2 AVA anomalies were most effective, particularly the seismic fluid factor attribute.

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