EFFECT OF GRAIN CHARACTERISTICS ON THE BEHAVIOUR OF DISSEMINATED METHANE HYDRATE BEARING SEDIMENTS Kingston, Emily; Clayton, Chris R.I.; Priest, Jeffery; Best, Angus I.
Results of seismic surveys are routinely used to assess the presence of methane hydrate in deep ocean sediments. Accurate estimates of hydrate distribution and volume within the sediment are required to assess the potential of gas hydrate as an energy resource, driver for climate change or as a geotechnical hazard. However, seismic velocity may be affected not only by the quantity and morphology of the hydrate, but also by the properties of the host sediment, for example its particle size distribution and grain shape. This paper reports the results of experiments conducted to determine dynamic geophysical properties such as compressional wave velocity (Vp), shear wave velocity (Vs) and their respective attenuation measurements (Qp -1 and Qs -1) of specimens with varying amounts of disseminated methane hydrate within materials with different particle shapes and sizes. The results show that the impact of disseminated hydrate is affected both by mean particle size and by particle sphericity, with the surface area of the sediment grains influencing the spread of hydrate throughout a material and therefore it’s bonding capabilities. The sediments with 10% hydrate content show the highest surface areas correspond to the least increase in seismic velocity while sediments with low surface areas gives the most.
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