Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

"Frozen” Natural Gas Discovered at Unexpectedly Shallow Depths Below Seafloor

24.08.2006
An international team of research scientists has reported greater knowledge of how gas hydrate deposits form in nature, subsequent to a scientific ocean-drilling expedition off Canada’s western coast. A natural geologic hazard, gas hydrate is largely natural gas, and thus, may significantly impact global climate change.

The research team, supported by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), published their peer-reviewed findings, "Gas Hydrate Transect Across Northern Cascadia Margin," in the Aug. 15, 2006, edition of EOS, published by the American Geophysical Union.

Contrary to established expectations of how gas hydrate deposits form, IODP expedition co-chief Michael Riedel, of McGill University, Montreal, confirms, “We found anomalous occurrences of high concentrations of gas hydrate at relatively shallow depths, 50-120 meters below the seafloor.”

The science party used the drilling facility and laboratories of the U.S. research vessel, JOIDES Resolution, on a 43-day expedition in Fall 2005 during which they retrieved core samples from a geological area known as the (northern) Cascadia Margin. Gas hydrate deposits are typically found below the seafloor in offshore locations where water depths exceed 500 meters, and in Arctic permafrost regions. Gas hydrate remains stable only under low temperature and relatively high pressure.

IODP co-chief scientist Timothy S. Collett of the U.S. Geological Survey states, “After repeatedly recovering high concentrations of gas hydrate in sand-rich layers of sediment, we’re reporting strong support for sediment grain size as a controlling factor in gas hydrate formation.” Prior to drilling, the scientists anticipated that gas hydrate would be more concentrated at deeper levels below the seafloor and more evenly distributed among the various grain sizes comprising the sediments.

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international marine research program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth, the deep biosphere, climate change, and Earth processes by sampling and monitoring sub-seafloor environments. IODP is supported by two lead agencies: the U.S. National Science Foundation, and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. Additional support comes from a European consortium of 17 countries, the People’s Republic of China, and South Korea. U.S.-sponsored IODP drilling operations are conducted by the JOI Alliance; comprised of the Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Texas A & M University Research Foundation, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

To see the list of research participants on IODP Expedition 311 to the Cascadia Margin, or to see expedition photos, go to http://iodp.tamu.edu/scienceops/expeditions/exp311.html.

Nancy Light | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iodp.org

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Six-decade-old space mystery solved with shoebox-sized satellite called a CubeSat
15.12.2017 | National Science Foundation

nachricht NSF-funded researchers find that ice sheet is dynamic and has repeatedly grown and shrunk
15.12.2017 | National Science Foundation

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>