The US Geological Survey has developed a laboratory research system which allows the study of the creation and dissociation of gas hydrates under deepwater conditions and with different sediment types and pore fluids. The system called GHASTLI (gas hydrate and sediment test laboratory instrument) comprises a pressure chamber which holds a sediment specimen, and which can simulate water depths to 2,500m and different sediment overburden. Seawater and gas flow through a sediment specimen can be precisely controlled and monitored. It can simulate a wide range of geology and processes and help to improve understanding of gas hydrate processes and aid prediction of geohazards, their control and potential use as an energy source. This article describes GHASTLI and how it is able to simulate natural conditions, focusing on fluid volume, acoustic velocity-compressional and shear wave, electric resistance, temperature, pore pressure, shear strength, and permeability.
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Apparatus investigates geological aspects of gas hydrates