Methane Hydrates

Gas seeps on the upper slope (location within a black rectangular box in Figure 2a). The 370 and 410-m contours are the upper limit of methane hydrate stability limits at 2˚ and 3˚ C respectively.

Arctic Hydrate Dissociation as a Consequence of Climate Change: Determining the vulnerable methane reservoir and gas escape mechanisms

In 2008, hundreds of plumes of bubbles of methane gas were discovered rising from the seabed west of Svalbard, in the Arctic, in water depths at and shallower than the upper limit of the methane hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). It is probable that these plumes come from methane released by the dissociation of methane hydrate beneath the seabed, caused by an increase in water temperature near the seabed of 1°C over the past 30 years [Westbrook et al., 2009].

Key Contact: Tim Minshull

Arctic methane at a tipping point: Estimating the amount of sub seabed methane

This project aims to estimate free gas and methane hydrate concentrations beneath the seabed in West Svalbard continental slope sediments using a combined analysis of co-located seismic and controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data.

Key Contact: Bedanta Goswami (PhD Student), Tim Minshull

Integration of CESM and seismic data for mapping gas hydrates at CNE03

In May 2012, a Controlled-Source Electromagnetic (CSEM) survey was conducted at the pockmark chimney CNE03, as a joint collaboration between the University of Southampton and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. The collected data will be processed, analysed and integrated with seismic data and laboratory measurements, aiming to detect and quantify the Methane hydrate and free gas deposits along the Nyegga region, at the CNE03 chimney, offshore Norway.

Key Contact: Eric Attias (PhD Student), Timothy Minshull

The response of offshore Arctic methane hydrate to ocean warming during the next three centuries

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and large-scale and sudden methane release from hydrates may have contributed to abrupt climate change in the geological record. The primary objectives of this project are to determine the sensitivity of gas hydrates to future ocean warming in the West Svalbard continental margin and the temporal evolution of the across-margin active gas hydrate dissociation area in the West Svalbard and North-West Canadian continental margins.

Key Contact: Tim Minshull