Gas hydrate occurrence in the Northern Gulf of Mexico studied with giant piston cores


  • Thomas D. Lorenson,

  • William J. Winters,

  • Patrick E. Hart,

  • Charles K. Paull


Gas hydrate is widely regarded as a potential energy resource and as a geohazard associated with both continental slope sea floor instability and petroleum exploration [e.g., Kvenvolden, 1999] . The northern Gulf of Mexico contains some of the best-documented occurrences of gas hydrates in the world, because they have been found in near sea floor sediments at more than 50 locations associated with active sea floor hydrocarbon seeps [Sassen et al, 2001]. Despite years of geophysical prospecting for hydrocarbons, the spatial and vertical distribution of deep gas hydrate in the Gulf of Mexico is not well known. This uncertainty hinders both the determination of the economic potential of gas hydrate resources in the region [Milkov and Sassen, 2001] and their potential as a geohazard.