Supplement to: Klapp, Stephan A; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Kuhs, Werner F; Murshed, Mangir M; Pape, Thomas; Klein, Helmut; Techmer, Kirsten S; Heeschen, Katja U; Abegg, Friedrich (2010): Microstructures of structure I and II gas hydrates from the Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 27(1), 116-125, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.03.004
Gas hydrate samples from various locations in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) differ considerably in their microstructure. Distinct microstructure characteristics coincide with discrete crystallographic structures, gas compositions and calculated thermodynamic stabilities.
The crystallographic structures were established by X-ray diffraction, using both conventional X-ray sources and high-energy synchrotron radiation. The microstructures were examined by cryo-stage Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM). Good sample preservation was warranted by the low ice fractions shown from quantitative phase analyses.
Gas hydrate structure II samples from the Green Canyon in the northern GOM had methane concentrations of 70-80% and up to 30% of C2-C5 of measured hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons in the crystallographic structure I hydrate from the Chapopote asphalt volcano in the southern GOM was comprised of more than 98% methane. Fairly different microstructures were identified for those different hydrates: Pores measuring 200-400 nm in diameter were present in structure I gas hydrate samples; no such pores but dense crystal surfaces instead were discovered in structure II gas hydrate. The stability of the hydrate samples is discussed regarding gas composition, crystallographic structure and microstructure.
Electron microscopic observations showed evidence of gas hydrate and liquid oil co-occurrence on a micrometer scale. That demonstrates that oil has direct contact to gas hydrates when it diffuses through a hydrate matrix.
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