Arctic Ocean Hydrate Dissociation Study 2011/12

Data set information

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Data holding centreBritish Antarctic Survey
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 27 August 2011 to 24 July 2012

Seismic reflection; Two-dimensional seismic reflection


Single-channel seismic reflection systems; >2000 Hz top-bandwidth sub-bottom penetrator and mud profiler systems; airgun


This dataset includes two cruises of data collected to investigate Arctic hydrate dissociation as a consequence of climate change and to determine vulnerable methane reservoir and gas escape mechanisms. Work during both JR269A and JR269B was focused on two separate geographical areas. The first of these was west of Prins Karls Forland, in water depths of between 150 and 1200 m. At its landward end, this survey area crosses a region at water depths up to 400 m where a dense concentration of methane escape bubble plumes occur. The second survey area straddles the summit of the Vestnesa Ridge, in water depths of 1180 to 1400 m, and is also the site of methane escape bubble plumes within the water column and of fluid escape chimneys and pockmarks previously imaged at and beneath the sea bed. This area lies approximately 100 km west of the mouth of Kongsfjorden. Data collection took place between August 2011 and July 2012. The research expedition used a deep-towed, very high resolution seismic system to image the small-scale structures that convey gas to the seabed and to detect the presence of gas in the sediments. This was done in conjunction with an electromagnetic exploration system that uses a deep-towed transmitter and receivers on the seabed to derive the variations in electrical resistivity in the sediments beneath the seabed. The observations carried out on the two cruises included; underway, meteorological observations and echo sounder data, multichannel seismic reflection profiling data, wide angle seismic survey data, and ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) data, ocean bottom electro-magnetometer data and controlled source electromagnetic surveys (CSEM). The overall objectives of the project were to determine the spatial distribution of gas and hydrate accumulations beneath the sea bed; to investigate and understand gas transport and escape mechanisms, their spatial distribution, and the controls on these; and to quantify gas and hydrate saturation values in situ within the pore spaces of the shallow sediment reservoirs. The research is focused on specific areas where significant accumulations of methane hydrate and active methane venting through the sea floor were observed and documented during the earlier JR211 cruise in 2008. This is a NERC funded project hosted by University of Southampton. The data held at BODC include multichannel seismic reflection, TOPAS sub-bottom profiler and 2D seismic reflection data in SEG-Y format. No further data are expected.

OriginatorsUniversity of Southampton School of Ocean and Earth Science
OrganisationBritish Antarctic Survey
ContactHelen Peat (Acting Head of the UK Polar Data Centre)

British Antarctic Survey
High Cross Madingley Road

United Kingdom
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1048ArcticHydrate2011-12
Global identifier6624
Last revised2021-04-21