Gas Hydrates, Formation, Detection, Relevance

Lecturers: Gerhard Bohrmann, Verena Heuer, Kai-Uwe Hinrichs, Sabine Kasten, Norbert Kaul, Volkhard Spieß


Recent interest in gas hydrates emerges from the awareness that hydrate deposits may play significant roles in global and regional processes with societal and economic significance. A global hydrate assessment, although still uncertain, suggests that methane hydrates might represent an important future energy. In addition, other important hydrate questions that have attracted attention include: 1) Is there a feedback between methane hydrate stability and climate? 2) What is the role of methane hydrate in the carbon cycle? and 3) How much does gas hydrate contribute to seafloor stability on continental slopes? What is the future role of methane hydrate as major resource?


After the successful completion of this lecture the students will have aquired a broad overview and understanding of gas hydrate systems in marine sediments, its interaction with the environment, and recent findings from ongoing research programs that illustrate key aspects of gas hydrate dynamics.


Written examination

Exam Form:



Books on gas hydrate aspects are available in room 1080 (office G. Bohrmann)
- Carroll, JJ (2003): Natural gas hydrates - a guide for engineers. Burlington, Ma, Elsevier Science.
- Henriet, J-P and Mienert, J, Eds. (1998): Gas Hydrates Relevance to World margin stability and climate change. Geological Society Special Publications. London, The Geological Society.
- Max, MD, Johnsen, HK and Dillon, WP (2006): Economic geology of natural gas hydrate, Springer.
- Paull, C, and Dillon, W. (2001): Natural gas hydrates: Occurrence, distribution, and detection. Geophysical monograph 124, American Geophysical Union.
- Riedel, M, Willoughby E.C., Chopra, S. (2010) Geophysical characterization of gas hydrates. SEG Geophysical Develop. Ser No 14:pp. 392
- Sloan, EDJ, and Koh CA (2008) Clathrate hydrate of natural gases (third edition). CRC press, Taylor & Francis Group, London, New York.
- Bohrmann, G and Torres, ME (2006) Gas hydrates in marine sediments. In: Schulz, HD and Zabel, M (eds.) Marine Geochemistry. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, 481-512. ISBN 3540321438 doi:10.1007/3-540-32144-6_14


1st SWS: Introduction to hydrates
2nd SWS: Phase diagramms of hydrates
3rd SWS: Hydrate stability curves in various oceans
4th SWS: Seismic evidence for hydrates I
5th SWS: Seismic evidence for hydrates II
6th SWS: Seismic evidence for hydrates III
7th SWS: Hydrate deposits and heat flow
8th SWS: Drilling of gas hydrates
9th SWS: Hydrates and pore water chemistry
10th SWS: Hydrates and inorganic geochemistry
11th SWS: Quantification of hydrates
12th SWS: Hydrate and proxies in sediment deposits
13th SWS: Marine gas hydrates and production tests
14th SWS: Written examination

Teaching Aids:

Tabellenkalkulation mit Excel