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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-01-04
    Description: The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 01 (NGHP-01) is designed to study the occurrence of gas hydrate along the passive continental margin of the Indian Peninsula and in the Andaman convergent margin, with special emphasis on understanding the geologic and geochemical controls on the occurrence of gas hydrate in these two diverse settings. The NGHP-01 expedition established the presence of gas hydrates in the Krishna–Godavari and Mahanadi Basins, and the Andaman Sea. The expedition discovered in the Krishna–Godavari Basin one of the thickest gas hydrate accumulations ever documented, in the Andaman Sea one of the thickest and deepest gas hydrate stability zones in the world, and established the existence of a fully developed gas hydrate petroleum system in all three basins. The primary goal of NGHP-01 was to conduct scientific ocean drilling/coring, logging, and analytical activities to assess the geologic occurrence, regional context, and characteristics of gas hydrate deposits along the continental margins of India. This was done in order to meet the long-term goal of exploiting gas hydrate as a potential energy resource in a cost effective and safe manner. During its 113.5-day voyage, the D/V JOIDES Resolution cored and/or drilled 39 holes at 21 sites (1 site in Kerala–Konkan, 15 sites in Krishna–Godavari, 4 sites in Mahanadi, and 1 site in the Andaman deep offshore area), penetrated more than 9250 m of sedimentary section, and recovered nearly 2850 m of core. Twelve holes were logged with logging-while-drilling (LWD) tools and an additional 13 holes were wireline logged. The science team utilized extensive on-board laboratory facilities to examine and prepare preliminary reports on the physical properties, geochemistry, and sedimentology of all the data collected prior to the end of the expedition. Samples were also analyzed in additional post-expedition shore-based studies conducted in leading laboratories around the world. One of the specific objectives of this expedition was to test gas hydrate formation models and constrain model parameters, especially those that account for the formation of concentrated gas hydrate accumulations. The necessary data for characterizing the occurrence of in situ gas hydrate, such as interstitial water chlorinities, core-derived gas chemistry, physical and sedimentological properties, thermal images of the recovered cores, and downhole measured logging data (LWD and/or conventional wireline log data), were obtained from most of the drill sites established during NGHP-01. Almost all of the drill sites yielded evidence for the occurrence of gas hydrate; however, the inferred in situ concentration of gas hydrate varied substantially from site to site. For the most part, the interpretation of downhole logging data, core thermal images, interstitial water analyses, and pressure core images from the sites drilled during NGHP-01 indicate that the occurrence of concentrated gas hydrate is mostly associated with the presence of fractures in the sediments, and in some limited cases, by coarser grained (mostly sand-rich) sediments.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2016-01-11
    Description: Gas hydrate resource assessments that indicate enormous global volumes of gas present within hydrate accumulations have been one of the primary driving forces behind the growing interest in gas hydrates. Gas hydrate volumetric estimates in recent years have focused on documenting the geologic parameters in the “gas hydrate petroleum system” that control the occurrence of gas hydrates in nature. The primary goals of this report are to review our present understanding of the geologic controls on the occurrence of gas hydrate in the offshore of India and to document the application of the petroleum system approach to the study of gas hydrates. National Gas Hydrate Program of India executed the National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 01 (NGHP-01) in 2006 in four areas located on the eastern and western margins of the Indian Peninsula and in the Andaman Sea. These areas have experienced very different tectonic and depositional histories. The peninsular margins are passive continental margins resulting from a series of rifting episodes during the breakup and dispersion of Gondwanaland to form the present Indian Ocean. The Andaman Sea is bounded on its western side by a convergent margin where the Indian plate lithosphere is being subducted beneath southeast Asia. NGHP-01 drilled, logged, and/or cored 15 sites (31 holes) in the Krishna–Godavari Basin, 4 sites (5 holes) in the Mahanadi Basin, 1 site (2 holes) in the Andaman Sea, and 1 site (1 hole) in the Kerala–Konkan Basin. Holes were drilled using standard drilling methods for the purpose of logging-while-drilling and dedicated wireline logging; as well as through the use of a variety of standard coring systems and specialized pressure coring systems. NGHP-01 yielded evidence of gas hydrate from downhole log and core data obtained from all the sites in the Krishna–Godavari Basin, the Mahanadi Basin, and in the Andaman Sea. The site drilled in the Kerala–Konkan Basin during NGHP-01 did not yield any evidence of gas hydrate. Most of the downhole log-inferred gas hydrate and core-recovered gas hydrate were characterized as either fracture-filling in clay-dominated sediments or as pore-filling or grain-displacement particles disseminated in both fine- and coarse-grained sediments. Geochemical analyses of gases obtained from sediment cores recovered during NGHP-01 indicated that the gas in most all of the hydrates in the offshore of India is derived from microbial sources; only one site in the Andaman Sea exhibited limited evidence of a thermogenic gas source. The gas hydrate petroleum system concept has been used to effectively characterize the geologic controls on the occurrence of gas hydrates in the offshore of India.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
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    In:  Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 68 (1). pp. 171-201.
    Publication Date: 2017-02-10
    Description: The ‘magnetic quiet zone’ in the eastern Gulf of Aden is located between the oceanic crust of Sheba Ridge and the continental crust of Arabia and Somalia, and is separated from both by important structural boundaries. The seaward boundary is marked by the end of the seafloor spreading magnetic anomaly sequence and by a basement depth discontinuity. The landward boundary is marked by escarpments made up of a series of normal faults. These escarpments extend from 2–3 km below sea-level to 1500 m above sea-level and are equivalent of the ‘hinge zone’ found at mature continental margins. The magnetic field in the quiet zone is flat in some areas and in others is characterized by anomalies of up to several hundred gammas which are correlatable over distances of up to about 20 km and which appear related to basement topography. The basement lacks the topographic slope characteristic of mid-ocean ridge flanks and is characterized by moderately rough relief. The crustal structure appears quite heterogeneous and where the crustal thicknesses have been determined, they are slightly greater than those of oceanic crust. New heat flow measurements show high values (95.7–123.3 mW m−2) in the quiet zone with values decreasing from Sheba Ridge toward the coast. The unusual structure of the quiet zone and the observations that more opening appears to have occurred between Arabia and Somalia than can be accounted for by the oceanic crust of Sheba Ridge leads to the suggestion that the magnetic quiet zone was generated by diffuse extension of continental crust through a combination of rotational (listric) faulting and dyke injection. This possibility is investigated using both a ‘stretching’ or ‘lithospheric attenuation’ model and a model in which a portion of the extension occurs through dyke injection. It is found that these models can adequately match the observed heat flow and basement depths although very large amounts of extension (β=4–6) are required in the deep seaward portion of the quiet zone. This results in more extension than is compatible with the documented motion between Arabia and Africa. However, formation of the magnetic quiet zone occurred over a period of 10–15 Myr rather than instantaneously as assumed in the simple models. When the effects of a finite length rifting episode are considered, less extension is required and the observed geophysical data are consistent with a diffuse extension origin for the magnetic quiet zone.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
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    In:  Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 87 (2). pp. 421-454.
    Publication Date: 2017-02-10
    Description: The nature of subsidence near the ridge crest of the intermediate and fast spreading mid-ocean ridges of the Indian and Pacific Oceans is investigated using surface-ship bathymetry and magnetics profiles. The ridge can be divided into discrete sections, apparently bounded by distinct structural features such as major fracture zones, in which bathymetry plotted against crustal age forms a well-defined envelope with a width roughly the amplitude of the local bathymetry. The averaged bathymetry in all of the regions studied follows closely a square root of age subsidence curve which in most regions has a subsidence coefficient, C1, in the range of 340–390 m Myr−1/2. The best fitting subsidence curve, however, never reproduces the amplitude of the axial topographic high. The most notable region displaying unusual behaviour is the East Pacific Rise between 9°S and 22°S. In this region, the western flank of the ridge is subsiding at 200–225 m Myr−1/2 while the eastern flank is subsiding at ‘normal’ rates of 350–400 m Myr−1/2. Other anomalous areas include the region between the Easter Island hot spot and the Chile Rise triple junction in which the ridge crest is shallow and which is subsiding at rates of about 290 m Myr−1/2, and the region east of the Australia-Antarctic Discordance in which the northern flank is subsiding at 440 m Myr−1/2. This area may also be subsiding asymmetrically although there is not much data from the southern flank. The asymmetric subsidence in the 9°S-22°S region of the East Pacific Rise begins immediately at the ridge crest and the low subsidence rates on the west flank continue to at least 12 Myr old crust. Oligocene-aged crust on the western flank is subsiding at more normal rates, but is 500 m shallow with respect both to the world-wide average and to the conjugate crust on the eastern flank. The simplest model to explain these observations is that the western flank is underlain by a hotter mantle, perhaps as the result of upwelling resulting from the large-scale return circulation from the trenches. Depending on the depth of compensation, the observed asymmetry could result from a lateral temperature gradient of 0.05–0.10°C km−1 and a total lateral temperature variation of under 100°C.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
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    In:  AAPG Bulletin, 67 (1). pp. 41-69.
    Publication Date: 2017-02-10
    Description: Although motion between Arabia and Africa is presently occurring along the entire length of the Red Sea, the morphology and tectonics that result from this motion vary greatly along its length. South of 21°N, the main trough is bisected by a deep axial trough which has formed by sea-floor spreading during the past 4 m.y. and is associated with large-amplitude magnetic anomalies and high heat flow. North of 25°N, an axial trough is not present and the floor of the main trough has an irregular faulted appearance. The magnetic field in the north is characterized by smooth low-amplitude anomalies with a few isolated higher amplitude magnetic anomalies commonly associated with gravity anomalies and in many places probably due to intrusions. Between these regions, the axial trough is discontinuous with a series of deeps characterized by large-amplitude magnetic anomalies alternating with shallower intertrough zones which lack magnetic anomalies. It is argued that the different regions represent successive phases in the rifting of a continent and the development of a continental margin. An initial period of diffuse extension by rotational faulting and dike injection over an area perhaps 100 km (60 mi) wide is followed by concentration of extension at a single axis and the initiation of sea-floor spreading. The main trough in the southern Red Sea, away from the deep axial trough, formed during the Miocene by the same processes of diffuse extension that are still active in the northern Red Sea. This model explains the available geologic and geophysical data and reconciles previous models for the formation of the Red Sea which emphasize either the evidence for considerable motion between Arabia and Africa or the evidence for down aulted continental crust beneath much of the Red Sea. The initial pre-sea-floor spreading stage results in considerable extension (160 km or 100 mi) at 25°N in the Red Sea), can last for several tens of millions of years, and is an important factor in the development of the continental margin. Such an extended phase of rifting and diffuse extension must be taken into account in studies of sedimentation, subsidence, and paleotemperatures.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: Geophysical data are used to investigate the origin of the Northern Somali Basin and its relationship to surrounding tectonic elements. The results show the Northern Somali Basin to be the third of a series of oceanic basins separated by long transform faults created during movement between East and West Gondwanaland. The flexure resulting from differential subsidence across Chain Ridge along with the difference in lithospheric thermal structure on either side of it can account for the amplitude and shape of the observed geoid step and gravity anomalies across Chain Rige. It is suggested that the geoid and gravity low over the Northern Somali Basin may result from the superposition of a continental edge effect anomaly and the fracture zone edge effect anomaly.
    Keywords: GEOPHYSICS
    Type: AD-A205842 , Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 93; 11985-12
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