Naturally occurring methane hydrate deposits are potential sources of energy. However, their observation in natural environments remains challenging.
Naturally occurring methane hydrate deposits are potential sources of energy. However, their observation in natural environments remains challenging. Researchers have now developed a one-dimensional mathematical flow model to indirectly observe the formation and accumulation of methane hydrates under different lithological and fluid conditions in the Nankai Trough of Japan. Numerical simulations using this model revealed important insights that could help in the extraction of methane hydrates and the prevention of geohazards in the future.
Methane hydrate is a naturally occurring ice-like crystalline solid that forms when methane and water are subjected to geological high-pressure and low-temperature conditions. It is often found trapped in continental margin sediments and permafrost. Owing to its immense potential as a possible energy resource, researchers have attempted to get a better understanding of the geochemical and geophysical factors that control the distribution of methane hydrate reservoirs. However, these deposits take thousands of years to form, and their reservoirs are often found in geologically heterogeneous conditions. This makes it difficult to conduct a real-time or thorough evaluation of the formation, distribution, or accumulation of methane hydrates.
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