Skip to comments.China-Combustible Ice/Update
Posted on 05/26/2012 2:05:23 PM PDT by BenLurkin
China conducted its first deep-sea electromagnetic probe at the South China Sea on Friday, according to the country's marine experts.
The exploration came after the country began to actively look for new detection methods for combustible ice.
The electromagnetic-wave set consists of two parts, according to experts, a radiator, which is used to send out electromagnetic waves to stratum, and the receiving equipment used to receive signals reflected back by the sea-bed stratum.
"It is a radiator. It sends out electromagnetic waves along its route underwater, and the electromagnetic waves will be reflected back by the seabed stratum," said Wu Zhongliang, deputy director of the Technical Method Institute at the Guangzhou Marine Geology Survey.
"It is the receiving machine of electromagnetic waves, which is used to receive signals reflected back by the seabed stratum," said Wang Meng, a lecturer at the China University of Geosciences. "Unlike other matters around it, the combustible ice has rather high resistivity, which is different from rocks and mud, so by measuring the resistivity of the seabed-stratum, we can judge if there is combustible ice."
The receiving machine of electromagnetic-waves must be placed near the seabed, which would have the measured data restored for later studies, experts said.
"The red ball above provides buoyancy for the entire equipment, and the cement-mound below is designed to pull the machine down. If we want the machine to float up, we'd unhook the cement mound from the machine," said Chen Kai, also a lecturer at the China University of Geosciences.
Compared with traditional ways of exploration, experts said, the electromagnetic method is more sensitive to the scope and depth of burial and thickness of the combustible ice so as to produce more accurate deposit of the resource.
Story : China-Combustible Ice/Update
File ID : 142526
Dateline : Recent/FILE
Duration : 2’01
Locations : South China Sea, China
Type : Chinese/Nats
Source : China Central Television (CCTV)
Restrictions : Not access Chinese mainland
Pageview : 12
Summary : China begins first combustible-ice exploration in South China Sea
Languages : EN
Methane Hydrates. A company I know has been doing similar surveys (resistivity method) since the 1990’s. Always new tweaks though to how you can explore for them.
They are a huge resource for energy, and technology is getting there to make the deeper deposits worthwhile to mine.
Unless of course Obama (and the Senate) signs it all away with that Sea Treaty thing.
“Combustible ice”, also known as Methane Hydrate, is a naturally occuring substance that lies in depressions and in layers sometimes hundreds of feet thick on the ocean bed. At great depths, say in excess of 1,000 meters or more, the combination of pressure and the steady low temperature (about 4 degrees Centigrade), cause water and methane to form a substance, in which the small, symmetrical molecules of methane are trapped in the interstices of the larger and polarized molecules of water. Something like 165 volumes of methane combine with one volume of water.
So long as the Methane Hydrate is kept at below about 6 degrees Centigrade, it is stable, but above that temperature, it undergoes a phase change, releasing the methane (natural gas), which expands back to its original volume, with potentially serious destructive effect on the machinery being employed to extract it.
It is estimated, that something like four to ten times as much chemical energy is contained in the quantities of Methane Hydrate frozen in the polar regions, and the deposits on the ocean floor everywhere, as ALL the known or suspected reserves of coal, petroleum or natural gas in rock strata throughout the entire world. If we could tap into even a small fraction of this store of methane, it would serve the needs of the world for centuries, so much so that photovoltaic panels or arrays of wind-driven turbines become what they have always been, a curiosity which will never provide more than a small fraction of one percent of the total energy extraction industry.
And surprise, surprise, the Chinese may develop the technology first, as we blindly scramble around trying to make “green energy” work. Not our best application of resources.
Maritime stories of ships sinking in a boiling sea may in fact be due to a large cloud of methane hydrate roiling up beneath a vessel, changing the specific gravity of the media in which the hapless ship is caught. I have often wondered if an electromagnetic field could be generated by a large ‘bubble of methane rising through sea water, thus disturbing the compasses of planes fying at lower altitudes. Perhaps that is what confused the flight of WWII planes lost off the eastern seaboard?
“Gas hydrates occur abundantly in nature, both in Arctic regions and in marine sediments. Gas hydrate is a crystalline solid consisting of gas molecules, usually methane, each surrounded by a cage of water molecules. It looks very much like water ice. Methane hydrate is stable in ocean floor sediments at water depths greater than 300 meters, and where it occurs, it is known to cement loose sediments in a surface layer several hundred meters thick.
The worldwide amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth.”
U.S. Geological Survey
Marine and Coastal Geology Program
Gas (Methane) Hydrates — A New Frontier
Ocean water is electrically conductive, so maybe something that stirs it up in a certain way could make itself known as a fluctuation in the local magnetic field of the earth. But not hugely so, not enough to lose a ship or aircraft.