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R/V Pelican Instrumental in Gas Hydrate Study

R/V Pelican Instrumental in Gas Hydrate Study

September 27, 2013

The results of marine science are often the product of a slow cooker.  Preliminary results of the U.S. Geological Survey’s April 2013 cruise to investigate gas hydrate deposits in the Gulf of Mexico were just released in “Sound Waves,” the USGS Coastal and Marine Research News (July/August 2013). Highly technical gear including a high-resolution multichannel seismic reflection system and ocean bottom seismometers were used to map deep sediment structure below the sea floor in water depths of 2000 meters where the ice-like gas hydrates are found. Methane, also known as natural gas, is the gas most often trapped in these deep sediment deposits. The operation took place on LUMCON’s R/V Pelican over a three-week period. The ability of the vessel and its crew with the accomplished scientific team of the USGS made the deployment, use and recovery of all the equipment highly successful.  Shipboard processing of data also enabled underway adjustments to operations and interpretation of data.  The research was sponsored by the USGS, the Department of Energy and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Details of the cruise, preliminary data and photos of action onboard the Pelican are at http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2013/08/.