Measuring compressional and shear wave speeds in methane gas hydrate

Michael B. Helgerud, Ph.D.
Stanford University

Wednesday, April 4, 2001
3:00 p.m.—Pacific Forum

  A methane hydrate sample burning

Clathrate hydrates, commonly referred to as gas hydrates, are crystalline, ice-like phases of water that physically trap "guest" molecules in cages created by the water crystal lattice. Gas hydrates formed with methane as the guest species have been found in continental margin and deep-sea sediments around the world. Because of the large number of cages in the crystal structure, natural gas hydrate deposits may contain an economically significant volume of natural gas and/or play a role in global climate change. Additionally, gas hydrates can dramatically alter the strength and other geotechnical properties of sediments. To better understand gas hydrates and to help improve their identification from seismic and well log data, my colleagues and I have been studying the elastic properties of methane gas hydrate.

In this talk, I will present our measurements of compressional and shear wave speeds in methane hydrate and compare the results with measurements on ice.

Next: Zooplankton and Bioluminescence in Monterey Bay