Gas hydrates are solid ice-like structures in which gas molecules are trapped within cages of water molecules. They are found in the marine sediments along continental margins worldwide. Because hydrates contain a large concentration of methane, they are a potential energy resource.

In the Gulf of Mexico, gas hydrates have been found in a number of surface expressions and analysis of piston cores. However, the classic seismic detection method—looking for semicontinuous bottom-simulating reflectors (BSRs)—has not been successful in revealing hydrate reservoirs.

Milkov and Sassen (2001) postulate that, in the Gulf of Mexico, gas hydrate accumulations are concentrated along the rims...

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