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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Overview of Measurement Results:

We have measured thermal properties in three pure-phase systems, and two mixed-phase systems:

Pure-phase systems

Ice Ih: The thermal properties of ice Ih are better known than those of hydrate. Ice Ih is used as a check on our methods and calibrations.

sI methane hydrate: Methane hydrate is the most common naturally occurring hydrate on Earth, and is the focus of our laboratory research for its potential as an energy resource [Pooladi-Darvish, 2004], natural hazard [Hovland and Gudmestad, 2001], and climate change agent [Kennett, et al., 2003].

sII THF hydrate: Tetrahydrofuran (THF) hydrate is used as a laboratory analog for methane hydrate, but whether this comparison is appropriate has been debated [National Research Council, 2004]. Our testing is designed to evaluate the merits and limitations of THF hydrate as a methane hydrate analog.

Mixed-Phase Systems

sI methane hydrate + quartz sand + methane pore gas: Despite methane hydrate's low thermal conductivity, modest hydrate saturations in gas rich systems can enhance the overall thermal conductivity by thermally bridging high thermal conductivity sand grains.

sII THF hydrate + quartz sand: Here we verified the importance of porosity in determining bulk thermal properties in hydrate-bearing sediment. Sediment grain size was found to exert at best a weak control on thermal properties.


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