Gas hydrates, geological perspective and global change

Online Access: Get full text
doi: 10.1029/93RG00268
Author(s): Kvenvolden, Keith A.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
U. S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, United States
Volume Title: Reviews of Geophysics
Source: Reviews of Geophysics, 31(2), p.173-187. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 8755-1209 CODEN: RGPSBL
Note: In English. From author's 1991 Mendenhall Lecture, U. S. Geological Survey. 69 refs.; illus. incl. sects., 1 plate, 1 table, sketch maps
Summary: Natural gas hydrates occur worldwide in polar regions, normally associated with onshore and offshore permafrost, and in sediment of outer continental and insular margins. The total amount of methane in gas hydrates likely exceeds 1019 g of methane carbon. Three aspects of gas hydrates are important: their fossil fuel resource potential, their role as a submarine geohazard, and their effects on global climate change. Because gas hydrates represent a large amount of methane within 2000 m of the Earth's surface, they are considered to be an unconventional, unproven source of fossil fuel. Because gas hydrates are metastable, changes of pressure and temperature affect their stability. Destabilized gas hydrates beneath the seafloor lead to geologic hazards such as submarine slumps and slides, examples of which are found worldwide. Destabilized gas hydrates may also affect climate through the release of methane, a "greenhouse" gas, which may enhance global warming and be a factor in global climate change. Copyright 1993 by the American Geophysical Union.
Year of Publication: 1993
Research Program: ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 02 Geochemistry; Aliphatic hydrocarbons; Alkanes; Ecology; Gas hydrates; Geologic hazards; Global change; Greenhouse effect; Hydrocarbons; Methane; Natural gas; Organic compounds; Organic materials; Petroleum; Resources; Stability
Record ID: 1993027198
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2017 American Geosciences Institute.

Similar Items