From Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin (
For more information, please contact the author.

Bureau Seminar, October 12, 2007

Applying Multicomponent Seismic Data
across Deep-Water Hydrate Systems

Bob Hardage
Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences


 The Exploration Geophysics Laboratory (EGL) has been contracted by the Minerals Management Service to demonstrate the value of multicomponent seismic data for evaluating deep-water hydrate systems across the Green Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico.  The objectives of our study are to identify hydrate-bearing strata and to estimate the hydrate concentration that is present in these strata.  An immense amount of 4-component seismic data (1300 km) has to be processed (Paul Murray), interpreted (Mike DeAngelo), and modeled (Paul, Mike, Randy, and Pete).  Paul Murray has built a unique software system to accomplish these tasks, and EGL sponsors are requesting this software and training workshops.  You will see evidence of what the EGL team has accomplished using this code and the technical guidance of Milo Backus, Bob Graebner, and Don Wagner.
     Novel rock physics concepts have been developed by Diana Sava to calculate seismic propagation velocity and formation resistivity in near-seafloor hydrate-bearing sediment, which is a medium that has physical and electrical properties that can best be described as “weird”.  I will summarize Diana’s concepts and describe her statistical approach to estimating hydrate concentration from a 3-dimensional (VP, VS, R) data space.  Mike, Paul, and Pete build the VP and VS portion of this data space; I have ferreted out the sparse resistivity data (R) that exist across the area.
     The project is approximately 80-percent complete, and interesting research findings are emerging as we are constructing our final report.  I will summarize these findings.  No math, just good science and great PowerPoint figures from Joel Lardon and the Graphics Section.