Clustered BSRs: Evidence for gas hydrate-bearing turbidite complexes in folded regions, example from the Perdido Fold Belt, northern Gulf of Mexico

Earth and Planetary Science Letters
By: , and 

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Abstract

We describe previously undocumented but extensive gas hydrate accumulations in the mouth of Perdido Canyon in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The accumulations are located within central parts of structural domes (four-way closures) and are characterized by stacked, high-amplitude bottom simulating reflections (BSRs) that we call clustered BSRs. Seismic data from Perdido Canyon show two clustered BSRs associated with turbidite sequences within two dome folds formed from tectonic folding and salt diapir rise. The northwestern (NW) and southeastern (SE) clustered BSRs have aerial extents of ~25 km2 and 50 km2, respectively. Well log data confirm gas hydrate occurs above the NW clustered BSR, within a 225 m-thick consistently high-resistivity interval that we interpret as gas hydrate in near-vertical fractures and turbidite sands. The SE dome is only drilled at the edge of the BSR; nevertheless, the well log data indicate that a 30 m-thick gas hydrate accumulation is present. Gas chromatographic logs in both domes suggest a gradual transition from predominantly microbial gas below the BSR (500–1000 meters below seafloor (mbsf)) to thermogenic gas at 1000–2000 mbsf. Based on the well log data and seismic stratigraphic analysis, we find gas hydrate is concentrated in fractures in marine mud, as well as in the pores of submarine fan turbidities, where saturations reach as high as 75%. An estimate of the total gas hydrate-bound gas volume at standard temperature and pressure is between 0.04 and 0.17 trillion cubic meters (TCM) assuming average hydrate saturation of 5-20% in a ~45 m thick turbidite sand unit above the Perdido Canyon BSR area. Measured BSR extent and gas volume estimates indicate that the NW and SE reservoirs are among the largest gas hydrate occurrences known in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Clustered BSRs: Evidence for gas hydrate-bearing turbidite complexes in folded regions, example from the Perdido Fold Belt, northern Gulf of Mexico
Series title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.115843
Volume 528
Issue 15
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 115843, 9 p.
Country Mexico
Other Geospatial Perdido Fold Belt