Edited by William J. Winters1, Thomas D. Lorenson2, and Charles K. Paull3
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The northern Gulf of Mexico contains many documented gas hydrate deposits near the sea floor. Although gas hydrate often is present in shallow subbottom sediment, the extent of hydrate occurrence deeper than 10 meters below sea floor in basins away from vents and other surface expressions is unknown. We obtained giant piston cores, box cores, and gravity cores and performed heat-flow analyses to study these shallow gas hydrate deposits aboard the RV Marion Dufresne in July 2002. This report presents measurements and interpretations from that cruise. Our results confirm the presence of gas hydrate in vent-related sediments near the sea bed. The presence of gas hydrate near the vents is governed by the complex interaction of regional and local factors, including heat flow, fluid flow, faults, pore-water salinity, gas concentrations, and sediment properties. However, conditions appropriate for extensive gas hydrate formation were not found away from the vents.
Suggested citation: Winters, W.J., Lorenson, T.D., and Paull, C.K., eds., 2007, Initial Report of the IMAGES VIII/PAGE 127 Gas Hydrate and Paleoclimate Cruise on the RV Marion Dufresne in the Gulf of Mexico, 2-18 July 2002: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1358, one DVD, online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2004/1358/
Scientific party of RV Marion Dufresne (photograph courtesy of University of Lille 1).
1U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Science Center, 384 Woods Hole Rd., Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA
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