The Geological Structure and Prospect of Gas Hydrate over the Dongsha Slope, South China Sea

Abstract

The area around the Dongsha Island in the northeastern South China Sea was generally known for the occurrence of gas hydrate related features, like BSR, cold seep carbonates and chemoautotrophic bacteria. To precisely evaluate the potential of gas hydrate occurrence in the NE South China Sea, marine geology of the large Dongsha slope region is studied based on more geophysical and geological data including multiple-channel seismic and high resolution sub-bottom topographic images. The east Dongsha slope area represents the largest slumping zone in the northern slope of the South China Sea, and might exhibit the highest potential of gas hydrate occurrences. The central Dongsha slope area, with very thin Cenozoic sediments, was tectonically disturbed by the latest Cenozoic uplifting and magmatism events, therefore is unfavorable for gas hydrate occurrence. The west Dongsha slope area with the deepest Cenozoic depression and moderate to minor slumping bodies might be favorable for gas hydrate occurrence.

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