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Potential Instability of Gas Hydrates along the Chilean Margin Due to Ocean Warming

1
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Sezione Geofisica, Università di Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy
2
Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), Borgo grotta gigante 42/c, 34010 Sgonico, Italy
3
Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Andres Bello, Quillota 980, Viña del Mar 2531015, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(5), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9050234
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 21 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Hydrate: Environmental and Climate Impacts)
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Abstract

In the last few years, interest in the offshore Chilean margin has increased rapidly due to the presence of gas hydrates. We have modelled the gas hydrate stability zone off Chilean shores (from 33° S to 46° S) using a steady state approach to evaluate the effects of climate change on gas hydrate stability. Present day conditions were modelled using published literature and compared with available measurements. Then, we simulated the effects of climate change on gas hydrate stability in 50 and 100 years on the basis of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and National Aeronautics and Space Administration forecasts. An increase in temperature might cause the dissociation of gas hydrate that could strongly affect gas hydrate stability. Moreover, we found that the high seismicity of this area could have a strong effect on gas hydrate stability. Clearly, the Chilean margin should be considered as a natural laboratory for understanding the relationship between gas hydrate systems and complex natural phenomena, such as climate change, slope stability and earthquakes. View Full-Text
Keywords: gas hydrate; modelling; climate change; Chilean margin; slope stability; earthquake gas hydrate; modelling; climate change; Chilean margin; slope stability; earthquake
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Alessandrini, G.; Tinivella, U.; Giustiniani, M.; de la Cruz Vargas-Cordero, I.; Castellaro, S. Potential Instability of Gas Hydrates along the Chilean Margin Due to Ocean Warming. Geosciences 2019, 9, 234.

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