Volume 40 Issue 2
Apr.  2021
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Bin Liu, Jiangxin Chen, Luis M. Pinheiro, Li Yang, Shengxuan Liu, Yongxian Guan, Haibin Song, Nengyou Wu, Huaning Xu, Rui Yang. An insight into shallow gas hydrates in the Dongsha area, South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2021, 40(2): 136-146. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1758-6
Citation: Bin Liu, Jiangxin Chen, Luis M. Pinheiro, Li Yang, Shengxuan Liu, Yongxian Guan, Haibin Song, Nengyou Wu, Huaning Xu, Rui Yang. An insight into shallow gas hydrates in the Dongsha area, South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2021, 40(2): 136-146. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1758-6

An insight into shallow gas hydrates in the Dongsha area, South China Sea

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1758-6
Funds:  The Laboratory for Marine Mineral Resources, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology under contract No. MMRKF201810; the National Key Research & Development Program of China under contract Nos 2018YFC0310000 and 2017YFC0307406; the Shandong Province “Taishan Scholar” Construction Project.
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  • Corresponding author: Email: jiangxin_chen@sina.com
  • Received Date: 2020-01-16
  • Accepted Date: 2020-06-16
  • Available Online: 2021-04-02
  • Publish Date: 2021-04-02
  • Previous studies of gas hydrate in the Dongsha area mainly focused on the deep-seated gas hydrates that have a high energy potential, but cared little about the shallow gas hydrates occurrences. Shallow gas hydrates have been confirmed by drill cores at three sites (GMGS2 08, GMGS2 09 and GMGS2 16) during the GMGS2 cruise, which occur as veins, blocky nodules or massive layers, at 8–30 m below the seafloor. Gas chimneys and faults observed on the seismic sections are the two main fluid migration pathways. The deep-seated gas hydrate and the shallow hydrate-bearing sediments are two main seals for the migrating gas. The occurrences of shallow gas hydrates are mainly controlled by the migration of fluid along shallow faults and the presence of deep-seated gas hydrates. Active gas leakage is taking place at a relatively high-flux state through the vent structures identified on the geophysical data at the seafloor, although without resulting in gas plumes easily detectable by acoustic methods. The presence of strong reflections on the high-resolution seismic profiles and dim or chaotic layers in the sub-bottom profiles are most likely good indicators of shallow gas hydrates in the Dongsha area. Active cold seeps, indicated by either gas plume or seepage vent, can also be used as indicators for neighboring shallow gas hydrates and the gas hydrate system that is highly dynamic in the Dongsha area.
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