Deep-Water Acoustic Anomalies from Methane Hydrate in the Bering Sea

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Abstract

A recent expedition to the central Bering Sea, one of the most remote locations in the world, has yielded observations confirming gas and gas hydrates in this deep ocean basin. Significant sound speed anomalies found using inversion of pre-stack seismic data are observed in association with variable seismic amplitude anomalies in the thick sediment column. The anomalously low sound speeds below the inferred base of methane hydrate stability indicate the presence of potentially large quantities of gas-phase methane associated with each velocity-amplitude anomaly (VAMP). The data acquired are of such high quality that quantitative estimates of the concentrations of gas hydrates in the upper few hundred meters of sediment are also possible, and analyses are under way to make these estimates. Several VAMPs were specifically targeted in this survey; others were crossed incidentally. Indications of many dozens or hundreds of these features exist throughout the portion of the Bering Sea relevant to the U.S. extended continental shelf (ECS) consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Title Deep-Water Acoustic Anomalies from Methane Hydrate in the Bering Sea
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Naval Research Laboratory
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 8 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title NRL Review
First page 132
Last page 139
Country United States
Other Geospatial Bering Sea
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