Natural and artificial gas hydrates with internal pores of nano to centimeters and weak grain-cementation have been widely reported, while the detailed formation process of grain-cementing hydrates remains poorly identified. Pore-scale morphology of carbon dioxide (CO2) hydrate formed in a partially brine-saturated porous medium was investigated via X-ray computed microtomography (X-ray CMT). Emphasis is placed on the pore-scale growth patterns of gas hydrate, including the growth of dendritic hydrate crystals on preformed hydrate and water-wetted grains, porous nature of the hydrate phase, volume expansion of more than 200% during the water-to-hydrate phase transformation, preference of unfrozen water wetting hydrophilic minerals, and the relevance to a weak cementation effect on macroscale physical properties. The presented pore-scale morphology and growth patterns of gas hydrate are expected in natural sediment settings where free gas is available for hydrate formation, such as active gas vents, gas seeps, mud volcanoes, permafrost gas hydrate provinces, and CO2 injected formation for the sake of geologic carbon storage; and in laboratory hydrate samples synthesized from partially brine-saturated sediments or formed from water-gas interfaces.
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© 2015. The Authors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology