Passing gas through the hydrate stability zone at southern Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon

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Abstract

We present an equilibrium model of methane venting through the hydrate stability zone at southern Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon. Free gas supplied from below forms hydrate, depletes water, and elevates salinity until pore water is too saline for further hydrate formation. This system self-generates local three-phase equilibrium and allows free gas migration to the seafloor. Log and core data from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1249 show that from the seafloor to 50 m below seafloor (mbsf), pore water salinity is elevated to the point where liquid water, hydrate and free gas coexist. The elevated pore water salinity provides a mechanism for vertical migration of free gas through the regional hydrate stability zone (RHSZ). This process may drive gas venting through hydrate stability zones around the world. Significant amount of gaseous methane can bypass the RHSZ by shifting local thermodynamic conditions. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Liu, X., & Flemings, P. B. (2006). Passing gas through the hydrate stability zone at southern Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 241(1–2), 211–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2005.10.026

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