3D seismics and isotopic analysis provides constraints on the origin of methane in the earths deep subsurface

M. Manzi, B. Sherwood Lollar, Tullis C. Onstott, E. Van Heerden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Understanding and quantifying the sources of methane (CH4) in sedimentary environments is critical for studies of climate change, biogeochemical cycling, energy exploration, and for the mitigation of risks posed by methane explosions in deep mining environments. It was first suggested that the gases in deep gold mines of the Witwatersrand Basin (South Africa) were biogenic, that is, they originated from shallow coal deposits in the basin and were transported as dissolved phases in groundwater into the underlying strata via cross-cutting faults and igneous dykes. However, the integration of 3D seismic data with underground mapping data, gas compositions, hydrogen and carbon isotope signatures provide the new evidence for the abiogenic origin of the methane gas. This holistic approach has further demonstrated that the faults, dykes and fracture systems, as well as compositional variation, hydrogen and carbon isotopic analysis play an important role in unravelling the origin of methane gas in Earth's deep subsurface, as well as in understanding the methane-water-transportation mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016
Subtitle of host publicationEfficient Use of Technology - Unlocking Potential
PublisherEuropean Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, EAGE
ISBN (Electronic)9789462821859
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016: Efficient Use of Technology - Unlocking Potential - Vienna, Austria
Duration: May 30 2016Jun 2 2016

Publication series

Name78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016: Efficient Use of Technology - Unlocking Potential

Other

Other78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016: Efficient Use of Technology - Unlocking Potential
CountryAustria
CityVienna
Period5/30/166/2/16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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    Manzi, M., Lollar, B. S., Onstott, T. C., & Van Heerden, E. (2016). 3D seismics and isotopic analysis provides constraints on the origin of methane in the earths deep subsurface. In 78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016: Efficient Use of Technology - Unlocking Potential (78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016: Efficient Use of Technology - Unlocking Potential). European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, EAGE.