Multi-channel seismic data acquired on the South Shetland margin, northern Antarctic Peninsula, show that Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) are widespread in the area, implying large volumes of gas hydrates. In order to estimate the volume of gas hydrate in the area, interval velocities were determined using a 1-D velocity inversion method and porosities were deduced from their relationship with sub-bottom depth for terrigenous sediments. Because data such as well logs are not available, we made two baseline models for the velocities and porosities of non-gas hydrate-bearing sediments in the area, considering the velocity jump observed at the shallow sub-bottom depth due to joint contributions of gas hydrate and a shallow unconformity. The difference between the results of the two models is not significant. The parameters used to estimate the total volume of gas hydrate in the study area were 145 km of total length of BSRs identified on seismic profiles, 350 m thickness and 15 km width of gas hydrate-bearing sediments, and 6.3% of the average volume gas hydrate concentration (based on the second baseline model). Assuming that gas hydrates exist only where BSRs are observed, the total volume of gas hydrates along the seismic profiles in the area is about 4.8 ?? 1010 m3 (7.7 ?? 1012 m3 volume of methane at standard temperature and pressure).
Additional publication details
Gas hydrate volume estimations on the South Shetland continental margin, Antarctic Peninsula