Marine Gas hydrate research: Changing views over the past 25 years

Suess, Erwin (2011) Marine Gas hydrate research: Changing views over the past 25 years Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Gas Hydrates, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, July 17-21, 2011. HWU , Edinburgh, p. 11.

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During the past quarter century views have changed in marine gas-hydrate research and in its perception by
the society at large: (1) Deep-sea drilling has gone from a policy of avoiding gas hydrate to emphasizing
deliberate drilling for it. (2) International programs have evolved from exploiting gas hydrates as energy to
considering exchange of CO2 for CH4 hydrates as a means of carbon dioxide storage. (3) Lately, due to
global change, research has changed from pursuing methane-hydrate reserves to documenting release of
methane from destabilization in marginal seas. The first stage generated a wealth of knowledge and laid the
foundation for marine gas hydrate research upon which we build today. The second stage is traced to more
accurately estimating exploitable hydrate-bound gas and finding recovery technologies, that has lead to the
discovery of an innovative option coupling production of methane from CH4-hydrate to storage of CO2 via
in the sub-seafloor. Governments worldwide have recognized the potential for carbon dioxide storage and
have begun to implement regulations for such environmentally safe carbon capture and storage (CCS).
During the third stage, in further exploring global methane hydrate reserves, it has become evident that
environmental changes over the past decades may have triggered release of methane from destabilizing
hydrate at the seabed as well as diminished oxygen content in the near-bottom of marginal seas. Such
scenarios had been proposed for past global warming and now appear to become active again. Exemplary
highlights and selected cases studies are documented for each of the evolving stages.

Document Type: Book chapter
Keywords: gas hydrates, deep-sea drilling; carbon dioxide storage; global change
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2013 12:05
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2013 12:05

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