Gas (methane) hydrates in Antarctica: A review of research on gas hydrates in the Antarctic continental margin, 1975-2004
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Gas hydrates are icy substances that occur naturally beneath the world's oceans and in polar regions. These deposits contain vast and potentially unstable reserves of methane and other natural gases, which have been blamed for everything from abrupt climate change to the disappearances of ships in the Bermuda Triangle. This review will briefly define the structure and outline the distribution and importance of gas hydrates in global context. All research undertaken on the continental margin on Antarctica that relates to gas hydrates will then be reviewed. It will be shown that these studies are very limited, both spatially and temporally, and largely consist of one-off drilling projects with principle aims other than locating gas hydrates. This appears largely to be due to the remoteness on the Antarctic and the non-viability of energy-driven mineral extraction in the region.
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