ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0249.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geophysics And Geology Keywords: gas hydrates, methane stability, seismic interpretation, Levant basin, eastern Mediterranean, climate change
Online: 22 April 2019 (12:06:46 CEST)
To estimate The potential inventory of natural gas hydrates in the Levant Basin we correlated the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), modeled with locally estimated thermodynamic parameters, with seismic indicators of gas. Compilation of oceanographic measurements define the deep-water temperature and salinity to 13.8°C and 38.8‰ respectively, predicting the top GHSZ at a water depth of 1250±5 m. Assuming beneath the seafloor a hydrostatic pore-pressure, the water body salinity, and geothermal gradients ranging between 20 to 28.5°C/km, yields a useful first-order base-GHSZ approximation. Our model predicts that the entire northwestern half of the Levant Basin lies within the GHSZ, with a median thickness of ~150 m. High amplitude seismic reflectivity (HASR) imaged on an extensive 3D seismic dataset, consistently correlates with verified active seafloor gas seepage and is pervasively distributed across the deep-sea fan of the Nile within the Levant. Two main trends observed for the distribution of HASR are suggested to represent: (1) shallow gas and possibly hydrates, within buried channel-lobe systems 25 to 100 m beneath the seafloor; and (2) a regionally discontinuous bottom simulating reflection (BSR) broadly matching the modeled base GHSZ. We therefore estimate the potential methane hydrates reserve within the Levant Basin at ~4 Tcf.