Completed Study

Multicomponent and Multifrequency Seismic for Assessment of Fluid-Gas Expulsion Geology and Gas Hydrate Deposits: Gulf of Mexico

A wide range of fluid-gas expulsion processes is observed in seafloor strata across the northern Gulf of Mexico. These geological features can be segregated into rapid-flux processes (mud volcanoes, flows, and vents), moderate-flux processes (gas-hydrate mounds and chemosynthetic communities), and slow-flux processes (carbonate mounds, hardgrounds, and mineral-prone features). The objective of this study is to analyze shallow seafloor strata across selected deep-water expulsion sites with a range of seismic imaging options: 4-component ocean-bottom-cable (4-C OBC) data, conventional 3-D P-wave data, and deep-towed P-wave sources/receivers that produce 2 kHz and 10 kHz profiles of shallow strata in deep water. Emphasis will be placed on improving the seismic imaging of moderate-flux expulsion sites where gas hydrates exist. Improved geologic understanding of these sites is expected to be provided by high-frequency P-wave profiles that will detail structure and stratigraphy immediately below the seafloor and by converted-shear images extracted from 4-C OBC data, which will image inside P-wave wipeout zones.     (Click on graphic below to enlarge.)
The study is funded by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA). The primary contractor is Louisiana State University (LSU). The Exploration Geophysics Laboratory is a subcontractor to LSU.
For more information, please contact Bob Hardage, principal investigator.
Telephone 512-471-0300; e-mail