Coffin, R. B. Naval Research Laboratory, rcoffin@ccf.nrl.navy.mil
Grabowski, K. S. Naval Research Laboratory, grabowski@nrl.navy.mil
MacDonald, I. R. GERG, Texas A&M University, ian@gerg.tamu.edu
Cifuentes, L. A. Department of Oceanography, cifuentes@nitro.tamu.edu
Pohlman, J. W. Geo-Centers Inc. c/o NRL, johnp@ccf.nrl.navy.mil

 
ANALYSIS OF OCEAN METHANE HYDRATE FORMATION AND FATE
 
Continental margins of the World Ocean hold abundant deposits of methane-rich clathrates (gas hydrates). Data are incomplete, but independent estimates suggest that this global pool of methane is significantly greater than total petroleum reserves. Research in this area will assist in developing a better understanding of ocean carbon cycling, the impact of ocean carbon cycles on global warming, and the potential of methane hydrates as a future energy source. The Naval Research Laboratory has initiated a research program to examine the methane hydrate formation and stability. This summer research was conducted in the Gulf of Mexico and the Norwegian-Greenland Sea to study different gas hydrate fields. Submarine dives were used to collect samples determine the microbial role in the formation of the hydrates and transport of carbon from hydrates into the water column. Stable and radio carbon isotope analysis of a wide range of carbon pools will identify sources that contribute to the methane hydrate formation and pathways for carbon transport from hydrates to the water column. Our presentation will include a video that outlines the carbon cycling addressed in our research and an overview of our program goals and approaches. If available, preliminary data from cruises will be presented.
 
Day: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: 12:15 - 12:30pm
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS33WE1215S