Using cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (CSEM), powder X-ray diffraction, and gas chromatography methods, we investigated the physical states, grain characteristics, gas composition, and methane isotopic composition of two gas-hydrate-bearing sections of core recovered from the BPXA–DOE–USGS Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well situated on the Alaska North Slope. The well was continuously cored from 606.5 m to 760.1 m depth, and sections investigated here were retrieved from 619.9 m and 661.0 m depth. X-ray analysis and imaging of the sediment phase in both sections shows it consists of a predominantly fine-grained and well-sorted quartz sand with lesser amounts of feldspar, muscovite, and minor clays. Cryogenic SEM shows the gas-hydrate phase forming primarily as a pore-filling material between the sediment grains at approximately 70–75% saturation, and more sporadically as thin veins typically several tens of microns in diameter. Pore throat diameters vary, but commonly range 20–120 microns. Gas chromatography analyses of the hydrate-forming gas show that it is comprised of mainly methane (>99.9%), indicating that the gas hydrate is structure I. Here we report on the distribution and articulation of the gas-hydrate phase within the cores, the grain morphology of the hydrate, the composition of the sediment host, and the composition of the hydrate-forming gas.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Gas hydrate characterization and grain-scale imaging of recovered cores from the Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well, Alaska North Slope|
|Series title||Marine and Petroleum Geology|
|Contributing office(s)||Earthquake Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|