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Methane Hydrate Stability and Potential Resource in the Levant Basin, Southeastern Mediterranean Sea

1
The Dr. Moses Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences, Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel
2
The Department of Geophysics, Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Rammat-Aviv, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
3
The Hatter Department of Marine Technologies, Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(7), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9070306
Received: 20 April 2019 / Revised: 30 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Hydrate: Environmental and Climate Impacts)
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Abstract

To estimate the potential inventory of natural gas hydrates (NGH) in the Levant Basin, southeastern Mediterranean Sea, we correlated the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), modeled with local thermodynamic parameters, with seismic indicators of gas. A compilation of the oceanographic measurements defines the >1 km deep water temperature and salinity to 13.8 °C and 38.8‰ respectively, predicting the top GHSZ at a water depth of ~1250 m. Assuming sub-seafloor hydrostatic pore-pressure, water-body salinity, and geothermal gradients ranging between 20 to 28.5 °C/km, yields a useful first-order GHSZ approximation. Our model predicts that the entire northwestern half of the Levant seafloor lies within the GHSZ, with a median sub-seafloor thickness of ~150 m. High amplitude seismic reflectivity (HASR), correlates with the active seafloor gas seepage and is distributed across the deep-sea fan of the Nile within the Levant Basin. Trends observed in the distribution of the HASR are suggested to represent: (1) Shallow gas and possibly hydrates within buried channel-lobe systems 25 to 100 mbsf; and (2) a regionally discontinuous bottom simulating reflection (BSR) broadly matching the modeled base of GHSZ. We therefore estimate the potential methane hydrates resources within the Levant Basin at ~100 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) and its carbon content at ~1.5 gigatonnes. View Full-Text
Keywords: gas hydrates; methane stability; seismic interpretation; Levant Basin; Eastern Mediterranean; climate change gas hydrates; methane stability; seismic interpretation; Levant Basin; Eastern Mediterranean; climate change
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Tayber, Z.; Meilijson, A.; Ben-Avraham, Z.; Makovsky, Y. Methane Hydrate Stability and Potential Resource in the Levant Basin, Southeastern Mediterranean Sea. Geosciences 2019, 9, 306.

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