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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1358

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


Edited by William J. Winters1, Thomas D. Lorenson2, and Charles K. Paull3

Chapters 1-14 (PDF files)
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Geologic Setting
Chapter 3: Coring and Gas Hydrate Operations
Chapter 4: Physical Properties
Chapter 5: Sedimentology
Chapter 6: Heat Flow
Chapter 7: Thermal Conductivity
Chapter 8: Pore-Water Geochemistry
Chapter 9: Sediment Gas Geochemistry
Chapter 10: Microbiology
Chapter 11: Biostratigraphy
Chapter 12: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
Chapter 13: Pollution Transport
Chapter 14: Carbonate Mineralogy and Isotopes
Appendixes A-N
Samples of gas hydrate
Samples of gas hydrate recovered from Calypso giant piston core MD02-2569.


Download all chapters with cover in a single PDF file for printing.

Photograph of RV Marion Dufresne


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

Photo of scientific party

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
2U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd., MS 999, Menlo Park, CA 94025 USA
3Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 7700 Sandholdt Rd., Moss Landing, CA 95039 USA

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