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Very high-resolution seismic mapping of shallow gas in the Belgian coastal zone
Missiaen, T.; Murphy, S.; Loncke, L.; Henriet, J.-P. (2002). Very high-resolution seismic mapping of shallow gas in the Belgian coastal zone. Cont. Shelf Res. 22(16): 2291-2301. dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0278-4343(02)00056-0
In: Continental Shelf Research. Pergamon Press: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0278-4343, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 214911 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Gas fields; Seismic exploration; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Coast [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Shallow gas; Seismic mapping; Coastal zone; Belgium

Authors  Top 
  • Missiaen, T., more
  • Murphy, S.
  • Loncke, L.
  • Henriet, J.-P., more

Abstract
    Very high-resolution reflection seismic investigations off the Belgian coast have revealed an extensive area marked by poor seismic penetration that is probably caused by the presence of shallow gas. The gas is believed to be of biogenic origin, and its geographical distribution is bound to a wide band oriented more or less parallel to the coast. The main origin of the gas could to some extent be linked to the presence of a shallow, thin peat-rich layer of Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene age. Local high sedimentation rates furthermore favoured gas formation in the shallow fine-grained Holocene sediments.The gas-related features observed on the seismic profiles include acoustic turbidity and blanking, strong multiple reflections, and to a lesser extent bright spots and phase reversal. The sea-floor morphology does not reveal any clear gas escape from the sea bed, although there are some indications of local seepage of small bubbles or dissolved gas into the water column. The top of the acoustically turbid layer is located between 0 and 7 m below the sea-bed surface. It generally forms a sharp boundary, often marked by a varying offset probably due to different levels of gas penetration which could be related to the lithology of the overlying sediments. Seismic characteristics and velocity data seem to suggest a low concentration of gas, most likely less than 1%.

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