Department of Geophysics - Heiland Lecture Series
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 4:00 p.m.
"Gas hydrates in marine sediments from source to sink"
Dr. Hugh Daigle, Assistant Professor, Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
As interest has grown in recent years in exploiting gas hydrates as an energy resource, we have learned more and more about the science questions surrounding their provenance and accumulation. Researchers have observed worldwide that hydrates form preferentially in coarser-grained sediments, and this has been ascribed to more favorable thermodynamic conditions in the larger pores in such layers relative to finer-grained units. More recent work has shown that complex interactions between thermodynamics, diffusion, and advection control the location and rates of hydrate accumulation, and the ultimate amount of hydrate that forms. Using drilling results from the Walker Ridge and Green Canyon areas in the Gulf of Mexico, I show how economic-scale hydrate deposits can form from microbial methane and illustrate how microstructural sediment properties influence the evolution and fate of hydrate deposits in marine sediments.