Integrated three-dimensional (3-D) paleomorphologic and sedimentary modeling was used to predict the basin architecture and depositional pattern of Pleistocene forearc basin turbidites in a gas hydrate field along the northeast Nankai Trough, off central Japan. Structural unfolding and stratigraphic decompaction of the targeted stratigraphic unit resulted in successful modeling of the paleobathymetry at the time of deposition. This paleobathymetry was characterized by a simple U-shaped paleominibasin. Subsequent turbidity current modeling on the reconstructed paleobathymetric surface demonstrated morphologically controlled turbidity current behavior and selective turbidite sand distribution within the minibasin, which strongly suggests the development of a confined turbidite system. Among three candidate inflow patterns, a northeasterly inflow pattern was determined as most likely. In this scenario, flow reflection and deflection caused ponding and a concentration of sandy turbidite accumulation in the basin center, which facilitated filling of the minibasin. Such a sedimentary character is undetected by seismic data in the studied gas hydrate reservoir formation because of hydrate-cementation–induced seismic anomalies. Our model suggests that 3-D horizon surfaces mapped from 3-D seismic data along with well-log data can be used to predict paleobasin characteristics and depositional processes in deep-water turbidite systems even if seismic profiles cannot be determined because of the presence of gas hydrates.
Added on 30 April, 2013
Mystery of the deep: No one knows for sure what quantity of gas hydrates awaits discovery deep in the earth, but projections are auspicious.
Added on 01 May, 2014
Japan has taken a leap forward in natural gas production by conducting the first successful production test of natural gas from marine hydrates. Could this be the“bridge” fuel needed in the coming energy transition?
Added on 01 June, 2013
What would you give for an early detection system for earthquakes? Detecting those first waves of compression could help.
Added on 01 September, 2012
Take closer look at rare earth elements (REE) that are not making their way out of Chinese waters to the rest of the world. Will this create a global squeeze on our world?
Added on 01 December, 2010
Explorer Division Column EMD
Every six months, chairs of the Energy Minerals Division committees convene and report on developments in the areas they cover. In this column, we highlight important observations from these recent reports.
Added on 01 February, 2014
Gas hydrate, a crystalline compound of water and natural gas, has been touted as a vast potential energy resource for more than a decade – but realizing this potential has persistently remained beyond reach due to technical and economic hurdles.
Added on 01 May, 2010
Explorer Historical Highlight
At first glance the structural contour map and the cross section shown here look as if they had been published in the late 1920s by AAPG in the “Structure of Typical American Oil Fields” memoir.
Added on 01 August, 2011
Explorer Regions and Sections
Frigid temperatures and blizzard conditions moved across Europe in early February, setting new records – and as temperatures fell, gas prices from the main pipeline in Russia rose to the highest levels since 2006.
Added on 01 March, 2012
Canada’s Horn River Basin has been described as significantly larger than the Barnett shale area in Texas, which currently produces three billion cubic feet per day. Third-party estimates predict the Horn River area could hold 50-100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making it the hottest resource play in North America.
Added on 01 October, 2010