Gas hydrate on the northern Cascadia margin: regional geophysics and structural framework1
M. Riedel,2 E.C.
M.A. Chen,3 T.
and R.N. Edwards7
Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 311 is based on extensive site survey data and historic research at the northern Cascadia margin since 1985. This research includes various regional geophysical surveys using a broad spectrum of seismic techniques, coring and logging by the Ocean Drilling Program Leg 146, heat flow measurements, shallow piston coring, and bottom video observations across a cold-vent field, as well as novel controlled-source electromagnetic and seafloor compliance surveying techniques. The wealth of data available allowed construction of structural cross-sections of the margin, development of models for the formation of gas hydrate in an accretionary prism, and estimation of gas hydrate and free gas concentrations. Expedition 311 established for the first time a transect of drill sites across the northern Cascadia margin to study the evolution of gas hydrate formation over the entire gas hydrate stability field of the accretionary complex. This paper reviews the tectonic framework at the northern Cascadia margin and summarizes the scientific studies that led to the drilling objectives of Expedition 311 Cascadia gas hydrate.