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USGS - Gas Hydrates: What is it?
A gas hydrate is a crystalline solid; its building blocks consist of a gas molecule surrounded by a cage of water molecules. Thus it is similar to ice, except that the crystalline structure is stabilized by the guest gas molecule within the cage of water molecules. Many gases have molecular sizes suitable to form hydrate, including such naturally occurring gases as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and several low-carbon-number hydrocarbons, but most marine gas hydrates that have been analyzed are methane hydrates.
Naturally occurring hydrates are being looked upon as a future energy source and a potential global climate hazard. These naturally occurring hydrates, containing mostly methane, exist in vast quantities within and below the permafrost zone and in sub sea sediments. At present the amount of organic carbon entrapped in hydrate exceeds all other reserves (fossil fuels, soil, peat, and living organisms).
Centre for Gas Hydrate Research: Where do Gas Hydrates Occur?
Gas hydrates may form wherever water and suitably sized 'guest' molecules (e.g. methane, carbon dioxide) exist under suitable high pressure and low temperature conditions. [...]
Suitable conditions for gas hydrate formation commonly occur during hydrocarbon production operations, where they are a major flow assurance problem. In the natural enviroment, hydrates may be found and in the sediments of the deep sea continetal margins, the subsurface of Arctic permafrost regions, and in deep glacial ice.