Effective medium modeling to assess gas hydrate and free-gas evident from the velocity structure in the Makran accretionary prism, offshore Pakistan

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Abstract

Seismic properties of sediments are strongly influenced by pore fluids. Stiffness of unconsolidated marine sediment increases with the presence of gas hydrate and decreases with the presence of gas. A strong bottom-simulating reflector (BSR) observed on a seismic profile in the Makran accretionary prism, offshore Pakistan, indicates the presence of gas hydrate and free-gas across the BSR. Elastic properties of gas depend largely on pressure and temperature. We, therefore, first determine the elastic modulus of gas at pressure and temperature calculated at the BSR depth in the study region. The interval velocities derived from the seismic data are interpreted by the effective medium theory, which is a combination of self-consistent approximation and differential effective medium theories, together with a smoothing approximation, for assessment of gas hydrate and free-gas. The results show the saturations of gas hydrate and free-gas as 22 and 2.4% of pore space, respectively, across the BSR.

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