Support of Gulf of Mexico Hydrate Research Consortium: Activities to Support Establishment of a Sea Floor Monitoring Station Project

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The Gulf of Mexico Hydrates Research Consortium (GOM-HRC) was established in 1999 to assemble leaders in gas hydrates research. The Consortium is administered by the Center for Marine Resources and Environmental Technology, CMRET, at the University of Mississippi. The primary objective of the group is to design and emplace a remote monitoring station or sea floor observatory (MS/SFO) on the sea floor in the northern Gulf of Mexico by the year 2007, in an area where gas hydrates are known to be present at, or just below, the sea floor. This mission, although unavoidably delayed by hurricanes and other disturbances, ... continued below

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Lutken, Carol September 30, 2006.

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Description

The Gulf of Mexico Hydrates Research Consortium (GOM-HRC) was established in 1999 to assemble leaders in gas hydrates research. The Consortium is administered by the Center for Marine Resources and Environmental Technology, CMRET, at the University of Mississippi. The primary objective of the group is to design and emplace a remote monitoring station or sea floor observatory (MS/SFO) on the sea floor in the northern Gulf of Mexico by the year 2007, in an area where gas hydrates are known to be present at, or just below, the sea floor. This mission, although unavoidably delayed by hurricanes and other disturbances, necessitates assembling a station that will monitor physical and chemical parameters of the marine environment, including sea water and sea-floor sediments, on a more-or-less continuous basis over an extended period of time. In 2005, biological monitoring, as a means of assessing environmental health, was added to the mission of the MS/SFO. Establishment of the Consortium has succeeded in fulfilling the critical need to coordinate activities, avoid redundancies and communicate effectively among researchers in the arena of gas hydrates research. Complementary expertise, both scientific and technical, has been assembled to promote innovative research methods and construct necessary instrumentation. The observatory has now achieved a microbial dimension in addition to the geophysical, geological, and geochemical components it had already included. Initial components of the observatory, a probe that collects pore-fluid samples and another that records sea floor temperatures, were deployed in Mississippi Canyon 118 in May of 2005. Follow-up deployments, planned for fall 2005, had to be postponed due to the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Katrina (and later, Rita) on the Gulf Coast. Station/observatory completion, anticipated for 2007, will likely be delayed by at least one year. The CMRET has conducted several research cruises during this reporting period: one in April, one in June, one in September. April's effort was dedicated to surveying the mound at MC118 with the Surface-Source-Deep-Receiver (SSDR) seismic surveying system. This survey was completed in June and water column and bottom samples were collected via box coring. A microbial filtering system developed by Consortium participants at the University of Georgia was also deployed, run for {approx}12 hours and retrieved. The September cruise, designed to deploy, test, and in some cases recover, geochemical and microbial instruments and experiments took place aboard Harbor Branch's Seward Johnson and employed the Johnson SeaLink manned submersible. The seafloor monitoring station/observatory is funded approximately equally by three federal Agencies: Minerals Management Services (MMS) of the Department of the Interior (DOI), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST), an agency of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Subcontractors with FY03 funding fulfilled their technical reporting requirements in a previously submitted report (41628R10). Only unresolved matching funds issues remain and will be addressed in the report of the University of Mississippi's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. In addition, Barrodale Computing Services Ltd. (BCS) completed their work; their final report is the bulk of the semiannual report that precedes (abstract truncated)

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-02NT41628
  • DOI: 10.2172/896970 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 896970
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc890148

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  • September 30, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Jan. 8, 2018, 11:13 p.m.

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Lutken, Carol. Support of Gulf of Mexico Hydrate Research Consortium: Activities to Support Establishment of a Sea Floor Monitoring Station Project, report, September 30, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc890148/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.