Among the greatest uncertainties in the Arctic marine methane supply is the amount of frozen methane in sub seabed sediments. A more important question is how much of this methane will be released. We are developing new high-resolution geophysical technology within acquisition, processing and interpretation to directly detect and image marine methane hydrate reservoirs in the Arctic, based on acoustic and electromagnetic data and inverse modelling.

While abnormal increases in resistivity in the sub seabed can indicate both methane hydrates and gas, the seismic velocities obtained from ocean-bottom seismic arrays can clearly distinguish between these two materials in subsurface sediments. Yearly expeditions with our state-of-the-art research vessels allow for unique time-lapse studies of changes in the dynamics of the fluid flow system with an unprecedented high resolution using UiT’s national infrastructure G3 (Geosystem 3D seismic imaging), which is based on the P-Cable concept.

This combination of different data allows for thorough assessments of the amount of frozen methane and free gas, reservoir geometries and heterogeneities, and leakage to the seabed.

About the research area leader

Stefan Buenz has more than ten years of broad research experience in marine geology and geophysics, particularly related to gas hydrate, shallow gas, geo hazards, continental slope stability, high-latitude sedimentary processes, petroleum systems, CO2-storage, seafloor ecosystems, tectonic and non-tectonic faulting, and the development of sedimentary basins. A great part of his research is aimed to better understand gas hydrate systems, their distribution and their origin.

Stefan holds a PhD degree in marine geology and geophysics from UiT The Arctic University of Norway. He has been an associate professor at the Department of Geology at UiT since 2007. His research contributions are documented in over 30 peer-reviewed publications.

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