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      Characterizing the thermal regime of cold vents at the northern Cascadia margin from bottom-simulating reflector distributions, heat-probe measurements and borehole temperature data

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      Marine Geophysical Researches
      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          A mechanism for the formation of methane hydrate and seafloor bottom-simulating reflectors by vertical fluid expulsion

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            Rates of fluid expulsion across the Northern Cascadia Accretionary Prism: Constraints from new heat row and multichannel seismic reflection data

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              Decreased stability of methane hydrates in marine sediments owing to phase-boundary roughness

              Below water depths of about 300 metres, pressure and temperature conditions cause methane to form ice-like crystals of methane hydrate. Marine deposits of methane hydrate are estimated to be large, amassing about 10,000 gigatonnes of carbon, and are thought to be important to global change and seafloor stability, as well as representing a potentially exploitable energy resource. The extent of these deposits can usually be inferred from seismic imaging, in which the base of the methane hydrate stability zone is frequently identifiable as a smooth reflector that runs parallel to the sea floor. Here, using high-resolution seismic sections of seafloor sediments in the Cascadia margin off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, we observe lateral variations in the base of the hydrate stability zone, including gas-rich vertical intrusions into the hydrate stability zone. We suggest that these vertical intrusions are associated with upward flow of warmer fluids. Therefore, where seafloor fluid expulsion and methane hydrate deposits coincide, the base of the hydrate stability zone might exhibit significant roughness and increased surface area. Increased area implies that significantly more methane hydrate lies close to being unstable and hence closer to dissociation in the event of a lowering of pressure due to sea-level fall.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Marine Geophysical Researches
                Mar Geophys Res
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0025-3235
                1573-0581
                March 2010
                January 30 2010
                March 2010
                : 31
                : 1-2
                : 1-16
                Article
                10.1007/s11001-010-9080-2
                bef61942-e3bb-4ace-9f94-a9eb2b89f691
                © 2010

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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