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Gas-Hydrate Physical Property Research at the U.S. Geological Survey

Table 1. Physical property laboratory capabilities for the USGS gas hydrate project


Measurement Apparatus


Menlo Park, CA

Synthesis Pressure Vessels

Growth of large-volume samples

  • Reproducible grain characteristics
  • Reproducible stoichiometry

Instrumented Pressure Vessels

Formation Kinetics

Acoustic Properties

  • Wave speed
  • Elastic moduli

Thermal Analysis

Gas Flow Meter and Gas Collection Apparatus

Dissociation Kinetics

  • Self preservation
  • Buffered dissociation


Cryo-X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

  • High-Pressure Capable

Composition and relative abundance

Crystal structure of the hydrate phase

Cryo - Scanning Electron Microscope (CSEM)

CSEM Micrograph Catalog

  • Natural vs. laboratory-formed gas hydrate
  • Gas hydrate bearing sediment
  • Gas hydrate in saline systems
  • Handling / core retrieval effects

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS)

  • Attached to CSEM

Elemental Analysis

Carbon Detection

Naturally-occurring gas hydrate - Sites examined:

  • Cascadian Margin, Offshore Vancouver, Canada
  • Offshore India
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Mt. Elbert, Alaska
  • Mallik, NWT, Canada

Reston, VA

Optical Cell

Gas Hydrate Formation Behavior

  • Fate of methane
  • Pore space distribution

Raman Spectroscope



High-Pressure Gas Hydrate Structures

Woods Hole, MA

Baseline Geotechnical Devices

Baseline sediment properties

  • Grain size
  • Grain density
  • Water content
  • Porosity/Void ratio
  • Atterberg limits
  • State of stress
  • Shear strength
  • Stress history
  • 1-D deformation behavior
  • Strain rate effects
  • Stress-strain behavior
  • Pore pressure effects
  • Sediment moduli

Gas Hydrate And Sediment Test Laboratory Instrument (GHASTLI)

Acoustic Properties

  • Wave speed
  • Shear strength
  • Permeability
  • Electrical resistivity

Examined hydrate-bearing sediment from:

  • Blake Ridge, Offshore S.E. United States
  • Offshore India
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Mallik, NWT, Canada

Hydrates From Ice (HyFI)

Thermal Properties

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This page last modified on Monday, 05-Dec-2016 16:31:06 EST