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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D035996/1
Title: ASSESSING THE OCCURRENCE AND QUANTITY OF DEEP-OCEAN METHANE HYDRATES / THE IMPACT OF HYDRATE ON THE STIFFNESS AND SEISMIC PROPERTIES OF SEDIMENT
Principal Investigator: Clayton, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Zervos, Dr A Best, Dr AI
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr JA Priest
Project Partners:
Department: School of Civil Eng and The Environment
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 December 2005 Ends: 30 November 2008 Value (£): 207,176
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Ground Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Construction
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Methane gas hydrates are solid, ice-like compounds formed from water and natural gas (methane) under certain pressure and temperature conditions. These conditions naturally occur in deep water (>500m) oceanic sediments, leading to large volumes of methane gas being stored within the hydrate structure. Gas hydrates can be changed back to their individual constituents of gas and water though changes in pressure or temperature. Therefore hydrates are of major interest as a potential energy resource, but also as a hazard for drilling activities because they can be destabilised by such activities, and such destabilisation may weaken the seafloor. This can lead to subsidence of platforms or at the other extreme large sea bottom slope failures. This project aims to improve the detection and characterisation of methane gas hydrates in sediments through laboratory testing and the development of theoretical models. These will help us understand the relationship between physical properties and hydrate content, as well as a more robust assessment into the risk that gas hydrate destabilisation may pose to oil drilling activities.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk