Gas hydrates investigated in the Black Sea

News date: 
February 20, 2014

MIDAS scientists have returned from a successful cruise in the Black Sea, and are now busy processing huge volumes of seismic data. The cruise aboard the German research vessel, RV Maria S. Merian, spent six weeks over the 2013/14 festive period examining gas hydrate accumulations in the ancient Danube delta. An extensive 2D and 3D seismic survey was carried out, identifying a number of inactive and partly buried channel systems and the presence of gas hydrates in the overlying sediments. Further investigations in the area included ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) deployments to enable structural mapping and physical description of the channel infill, heatflow measurements and gravity and multi-corer samples to measure methane fluxes in the area. Piezometers deployed in the study area will be left in place for a year to investigate the link between fluid migration within sediments and slope stability, which is a key in understanding the geohazards associated with potential gas hydrate exploitation.