Heat and mass transfer effects during displacement of deepwater methane hydrate to the surface of Lake Baikal

Alexander V. Egorov, Robert I. Nigmatulin, Aleksey N. Rozhkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper focuses on heat and mass exchange processes in methane hydrate fragments during in situ displacement from the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) to the water surface of Lake Baikal. After being extracted from the methane hydrate deposit at the lakebed, hydrate fragments were placed into a container with transparent walls and a bottom grid. There were no changes in the hydrate fragments during ascent within the GHSZ. The water temperature in the container remained the same as that of the ambient water (~3.5 °С). However, as soon as the container crossed the upper border of the GHSZ, first signs of hydrate decomposition and transformation into free methane gas were observed. The gas filled the container and displaced water from it. At 300 m depth, the upper and lower thermometers in the container simultaneously recorded noticeable decreases of temperature. The temperature in the upper part of the container decreased to –0.25 °С at about 200 m depth, after which the temperature remained constant until the water surface was reached. The temperature at the bottom of the container reached –0.25 °С at about 100 m depth, after which it did not vary during further ascent. These observed effects could be explained by the formation of a gas phase in the container and an ice layer on the hydrate surface caused by heat consumption during hydrate decomposition (self-preservation effect). However, steady-state simulations suggest that the forming ice layer is too thin to sustain the hydrate internal pressure required to protect the hydrate from decomposition. Thus, the mechanism of self-preservation remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalGeo-Marine Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


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