A new high-pressure phase of methane hydrate has been identified based on its high optical relief, distinct pressure-temperature phase relations, and Raman spectra. In-situ optical observations were made in a hydrothermal diamond-anvil cell at temperatures between -40?? and 60 ??C and at pressures up to 900 MPa. Two new invariant points were located at -8.7 ??C and 99 MPa for the assemblage consisting of the new phase, structure I methane hydrate, ice Ih, and water, and at 35.3 ??C and 137 MPa for the new phase-structure I methane hydrate-water-methane vapor. Existence of the new phase is critical for understanding the phase relations among the hydrates at low to moderate pressures, and may also have important implications for understanding the hydrogen bonding in H2O and the behavior of water in the planetary bodies, such as Europa, of the outer solar system.
Additional publication details
Diamond-anvil cell observations of a new methane hydrate phase in the 100-MPa pressure range