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Geophysical features and identification of natural gas seepage in marine environment

CHEN Lin~(1,2),SONG Hai-bin~2 (1.Institute of Geology and Geophysics,Chinese Academy of Science,Beijing 100029,China;2.Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Science,Beijing 100049,China)  
Natural gas seepage is a widely distributing phenomenon in marine environment.Gas seepage may indicate the accumulation of hydrocarbon in sediments,and the large mount of venting gas(mainly methane) may impact the global climate change.Additionally,the seepage~related shallow gas accumulation,which can significantly alter the geotechnical properties and behavior of seafloor sediments,may threaten marine engineering.So it is important to study the natural gas seepage in marine environment.Marine gas seepage not only influences the physical properties of the seafloor sediments,but also significantly alters the geomorphology of the seafloor,such as the occurrence of pockmarks,mud volcanoes,authigenic carbonate and cold seep communities on seafloor.The latter changes can be mapped with bathymetry and backscatter data,and the former can be reflected on seismic profiles,such as the occurrence of acoustic turbidity,acoustic wipeout,bright spot,multiple,and velocity pull~down.Some seepage can form oil slicks on the sea surface,which can be imaged by SAR.Based on these gas seep~related geophysical features,the preliminary area of gas seeping may be identified.The verification of marine gas seeping needs ground truth data,such as the seafloor observation and core sampling.
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