Microstructures of structure I and II gas hydrates from the Gulf of Mexico

Klapp, Stephan A., Bohrmann, Gerhard, Kuhs, Werner F., Mangir Murshed, M., Pape, Thomas, Klein, Helmut, Techmer, Kirsten S., Heeschen, Katja U. and Abegg, Friedrich (2010) Microstructures of structure I and II gas hydrates from the Gulf of Mexico Marine and Petroleum Geology, 27 (1). pp. 116-125. DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.03.004.

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Gas hydrate samples from various locations in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) differ considerably in their microstructure. Distinct microstructure characteristics coincide with discrete crystallographic structures, gas compositions and calculated thermodynamic stabilities.

The crystallographic structures were established by X-ray diffraction, using both conventional X-ray sources and high-energy synchrotron radiation. The microstructures were examined by cryo-stage Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM). Good sample preservation was warranted by the low ice fractions shown from quantitative phase analyses.

Gas hydrate structure II samples from the Green Canyon in the northern GOM had methane concentrations of 70–80% and up to 30% of C2–C5 of measured hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons in the crystallographic structure I hydrate from the Chapopote asphalt volcano in the southern GOM was comprised of more than 98% methane. Fairly different microstructures were identified for those different hydrates: Pores measuring 200–400 nm in diameter were present in structure I gas hydrate samples; no such pores but dense crystal surfaces instead were discovered in structure II gas hydrate. The stability of the hydrate samples is discussed regarding gas composition, crystallographic structure and microstructure.

Electron microscopic observations showed evidence of gas hydrate and liquid oil co-occurrence on a micrometer scale. That demonstrates that oil has direct contact to gas hydrates when it diffuses through a hydrate matrix.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Meeresgeologie; Geochemistry; Gas hydrate, Gulf of Mexico, microstructure, structure II, stability, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, porosity, RV Meteor, M67/2, RV Sonne, SO174
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.03.004
ISSN: 0264-8172
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2010 15:49
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2017 07:43
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/10396

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