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Wealth of Info on Gulf Geology from Science Report

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posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 03:12 AM
Someone emailed me a link to a site which is an online tome of geological info for the gulf region. It's way over my head but perhaps some of you here might take a look when you have time and see if anything it worth mentioning.


Woods Hole Science Center

Initial Report of the IMAGES VIII/PAGE 127 Gas Hydrate and Paleoclimate Cruise on the RV Marion Dufresne in the Gulf of Mexico, 2-18 July 2002


Part 1
The first part (Chapters 1 through 9) describes the interpretation of measurements integrated across all of our sample sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Chapter 1, Introduction: General introduction, scientific objectives and conclusions.

Chapter 2, Geologic Setting: Results of prior USGS seismic-reflection cruises conducted in the northern Gulf of Mexico that provided the stratigraphic framework for the present coring program. Site characteristics of Tunica Mound, Bush Hill, the Mississippi Canyon region, and Pigmy and Orca Basins are discussed.

Chapter 3, Coring and Gas Hydrate Operations: An illustrated record of the procedures used to acquire, subsample, and process sediment samples from the various sampling devices used during the cruise. Special emphasis is placed on safety-related aspects dealing with dissociating gas hydrates.

Chapter 4, Physical Properties: Results of shear strength, electrical resistivity, texture, carbon content, and index property tests performed at sea and in a shore-based laboratory.

Chapter 5, Sedimentology: Sedimentologic descriptions and discussion of longitudinally split cores obtained during the cruise. In addition, techniques used to obtain Multi-Sensor Core Logs (MSCL), core photographs, and spectrophotometric logs are presented.

Chapter 6, Heat Flow: Results of instrumented gravity core penetrations of the sea floor. Geothermal gradients and heat-flow parameters at 17 locations distributed throughout the three main study areas.

Chapter 7, Thermal Conductivity: Methods and results of thermal conductivity (TC) tests performed on whole-round sections from 23 cores.

Chapter 8, Pore-Water Geochemistry: Interpretations of chloride, sulfate, and methane concentration in relation to subbottom depth of 483 water samples squeezed from sediment of Tunica Mound, Bush Hill, and the Mississippi Canyon region.

Chapter 9, Sediment Gas Geochemistry: Results of hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide gas analyses of sediment samples taken from four distinct regions in order to constrain concentrations and sources of gas that may form gas hydrate. Gas from dissociated hydrate, gas dissolved in sediment pore water, and gas from voids in the core were analyzed.

Part 2
The second part of this report (Chapters 10 through 14) is related to analyses that were performed on just one or a limited number of cores.

Chapter 10, Microbiology: An analysis of the archaeal small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene diversity from core MD02-2571C2, located near a gas chimney at a site west of the Mississippi Canyon.

Chapter 11, Biostratigraphy: A preliminary age-depth model for core MD02-2570 (west flank of the Mississippi Canyon), based on datums defined by the regional biostratigraphic zonation of planktonic foraminifers.

Chapter 12, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM): SEM analyses of natural gas hydrate nodules from core MD02-2569, from a site west of the Mississippi Canyon. Similarities in grain and pore structure were compared with images of laboratory-synthesized gas hydrates.

Chapter 13, Pollution Transport: Results of textural analyses of samples from Pigmy Basin and from low-oxygen, hyper-saline Orca Basin. Trace metal compositions of basin sediments were determined using a variable-pressure scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS).

Chapter 14, Carbonate Mineralogy and Isotopes: Analyses of carbonates sampled from various subbottom depths at Tunica Mound and the Mississippi Canyon.

Part 3
The third part of this report consists of appendixes that typically, but not exclusively, present information and data produced at sea. Most of the at-sea data sets required the use of proprietary software that was not available for post-cruise editing and, thus, are in their original, unedited formats.

Appendix A, Cruise Logistics: A table of core information, core and sediment recovery statistics, photographs, and contact information for cruise participants.

Appendix B, Maps: Regional and local bathymetric maps showing core locations.

Appendix C, Combined Station Results: Compiled, measured properties, and information for individual core sites.

Appendix D, Seismic profiles/Track lines: Regional and local core-specific seismic profiles and track lines.

Appendix E, Core Summaries: Information about individual core recovery and sediment observations.

Appendix F, Lithologic Descriptions: Unedited lithologic descriptions produced at sea of longitudinally split cores.

Appendix G, Core Photographs: At-sea photographs of freshly exposed longitudinally split cores (combined from individual digital files representing 0.5-m long core sections).

Appendix H, Multi-Sensor Core Logger (MSCL) Results: Individual core at-sea records of unedited acoustic velocity and amplitude, density, magnetic susceptibility, and related properties.

Appendix I, Spectrophotometry Results: Unedited, at-sea spectrophotometry records of individual cores.

Appendix J, Photographs: Digital photographs of shipboard activities.

Appendix K, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Video Press Release: Produced for the USGS in Tampa Bay.

Appendix L, Gas Hydrate Stability Models: Gas hydrate stability models related to gas type and geothermal conditions.

Appendix M, Metadata: Cruise logistics and information.

Appendix N, Abbreviations and Symbols: Selected abbreviations and symbols used in this report.

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 08:51 AM
i was reading up on, and educating myself about the gulf's geology yesterday evening before i saw your post, actually.

after all that i've learned, i'm even more appalled about what has taken place down there!

geologically, it is a very sketchy place to be doing such invasive things as drilling down deep for oil - with two kinds of methane in copious amounts in hydrate form, that leaves cavities when it is released, and the effects of the Chicxulub asteroid impact - it isn't surprising, at all, that there has been a collapse of the sea floor in the area of the drilling operation.

and recent news releases seem to indicate that BP was not only aware of the situation, but also had already had some sort of indication that trouble of this nature was brewing.

but from what i understand, it was a way to get at the largest oil reserve presently known, that goes all the way down to Venezuela. they really wanted to tap into that main artery at any cost, it seems.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:59 PM
plus some maps outling the topography of the undersea regions in the gulf


posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 02:31 PM
S&F OP! And a thank you very much. I have been searching for just such to back up my original assertions regarding the geological stability of the region.
It really is about as bad as I had originally had figured and I just skimmed the chapter highlights. I will read more later. Thank you OP, nail in the coffin, but excellent find.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 03:57 PM
reply to post by N.of norml

Well I'm glad someone is willing to wade through it all and is able to get a grasp on it. Will you be doing a thread on your conclusions ? Hope so

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 04:48 PM
reply to post by cosmicpixie

Thank you this s the kind of real information we need to make an assessment of what we on the coast are facing. Don't really understand most of it but it doesn't take a BP CEO to see what they have drilled into.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 05:53 PM
Caveat - I'm not a geologist. I'm not a geophysist. I'm not an engineer. I have read lots of geological reports, but not this type. I don't work with subsea drilling. I am NOT an expert. More like a technically inclined person with interest.

Geologic Setting:

There is a good chance of a slide in the area. It happens regularly. It doesn't impact petroleum in the ground.

The coring in this report is giving information on the upper formations and doesn't go to the depth of this well. (18360 feet, or 5596 m)

The methane deposit in the area is not that far under ground (300 meters, 984 feet) and is pretty consistent. What is over top of this deposit is essentially sand and silt.

Nuclear detonation of a large methane deposit in a slide area topped only by sand.

Yep - I don't know much about how that would work under that much water and pressure - but I suspect that I wouldn't want to find out first hand. Or even second hand.

[edit on 2010/6/22 by Aeons]

[edit on 2010/6/22 by Aeons]

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 06:03 PM
chapter three. So far, nothing that I find pertient to this discussion. However, Figure 28 just about made me choke.

You check for "dangerous" level of H2S this way? So, just as you find out that there is "dangerous" levels you immediately die like the canary? Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

Oh - there we go. The Figure 60-61 are gas hydrates. And I would suspect that specifically, they are methane hydrates.

[edit on 2010/6/22 by Aeons]

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 07:30 PM
the lithosphere under Chicxulub impact area is very different than normal crust - evidently it makes for a thin and brittle crust that is easily damaged and is prone to not being solid even in the absence of gasses like methane.
turns out all the cenotes in the jungle to the west are due to that impact crater.

and there are two different kinds of methane in the geology - the hydrate kind that is somehow related to the salt and is the same as in the Bermuda triangle and then there is the kind that accompanies oil and gas extraction.

the sea floor is already prone to slow oil seepages because the oil reservoir that is underneath was formed rather recently, relatively speaking.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 01:18 PM
I'm going to explain my problem with the methane hydrates covering this area so thoroughly and why a nuclear bomb (an idea I liked) may not be such a good idea.

Methane is a very easy to split hydrocarbon. That's what makes it so great for energy production.

Set off a nuclear bomb. Methane deposits in the area split. Then the hydrogen splits. Hydrogen splits pretty easily. You have fission. No need for the "oxygen" everyone keeps talking about.

You have fission with a huge source of further hydrogen feeding into this system.

The heat unfreezes other methane in the deposit, which burps up out of the ocean. Your best case scenario here is that it doesn't catch fire.

You don't have a nuclear bomb. You have the biggest fracking nuclear hydrogen bomb ever set off on the planet.

Not a physicist. I'd like to hear for one about this.

[edit on 2010/6/23 by Aeons]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 01:33 PM
Your thinking of fusion which requires an isotope of Hydrogen called Deuterium.
Fusion is not possible under even these extreme conditions. The greatest threat we are seeing played out right now. Volcanic involvement. At this point as the seafloor is completely fractured a nuke is only going to compound the problem with further fracturing and volcanic interaction with the oil strata and gas deposits.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 01:48 PM
No, I mean fission. Nuclear fission. With methane.

Such as in the Prometheus Rocket.

I admit it is likely I am confabulating fusion and fission concerning the splitting of the hydrogen atom itself. You still have the very splitable hydrocarbon to provide fissionable materials to the process. Lots of it.

[edit on 2010/6/23 by Aeons]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 01:48 PM
[edit on 2010/6/23 by Aeons]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 02:23 PM
Also, I believe that there is natural uranium deposits in the vicinity In the iron-rich zones.

While all of these things may not lead to anything - even a cigarette with enough material around it can cascade into a devastating forest fire.

And what this spot seems to have - is plenty of material to throw on the fire.

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