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Clayey silt reservoirs bearing natural gas hydrates (NGH) are considered to be the hydrate-bearing reservoirs that boast the highest reserves but tend to be the most difficult to exploit. They are proved to be exploitable by the first NGH production test conducted in the South China Sea in 2017. Based on the understanding of the first production test, the China Geological Survey determined the optimal target NGH reservoirs for production test and conducted a detailed assessment, numerical and experimental simulation, and onshore testing of the reservoirs. After that, it conducted the second offshore NGH production test in 1225 m deep Shenhu Area, South China Sea (also referred to as the second production test) from October 2019 to April 2020. During the second production test, a series of technical challenges of drilling horizontal wells in shallow soft strata in deep sea were met, including wellhead stability, directional drilling of a horizontal well, reservoir stimulation and sand control, and accurate depressurization. As a result, 30 days of continuous gas production was achieved, with a cumulative gas production of 86.14 ×104 m3. Thus, the average daily gas production is 2.87 ×104 m3, which is 5.57 times as much as that obtained in the first production test. Therefore, both the cumulative gas production and the daily gas production were highly improved compared to the first production test. As indicated by the monitoring results of the second production test, there was no anomaly in methane content in the seafloor, seawater, and atmosphere throughout the whole production test. This successful production test further indicates that safe and effective NGH exploitation is feasible in clayey silt NGH reservoirs. The industrialization of hydrates consists of five stages in general, namely theoretical research and simulation experiments, exploratory production test, experimental production test, productive production test, and commercial production. The second production test serves as an important step from the exploratory production test to experimental production test.
Shenhu Area is located in the Baiyun Sag of Pearl River Mouth Basin, which is on the northern continental slope of the South China Sea. Gas hydrates in this area have been intensively investigated, achieving a wide coverage of the three-dimensional seismic survey, a large number of boreholes, and detailed data of the seismic survey, logging, and core analysis. In the beginning of 2020, China has successfully conducted the second offshore production test of gas hydrates in this area. In this paper, studies were made on the structure of the hydrate system for the production test, based on detailed logging data and core analysis of this area. As to the results of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logging and sonic logging of Well GMGS6-SH02 drilled during the GMGS6 Expedition, the hydrate system on which the production well located can be divided into three layers: (1) 207.8–253.4 mbsf, 45.6 m thick, gas hydrate layer, with gas hydrate saturation of 0–54.5% (31% av.); (2) 253.4–278 mbsf, 24.6 m thick, mixing layer consisting of gas hydrates, free gas, and water, with gas hydrate saturation of 0–22% (10% av.) and free gas saturation of 0–32% (13% av.); (3) 278–297 mbsf, 19 m thick, with free gas saturation of less than 7%. Moreover, the pore water freshening identified in the sediment cores, taken from the depth below the theoretically calculated base of methane hydrate stability zone, indicates the occurrence of gas hydrate. All these data reveal that gas hydrates, free gas, and water coexist in the mixing layer from different aspects.
The permeability of a natural gas hydrate reservoir is a critical parameter associated with gas hydrate production. Upon producing gas from a hydrate reservoir via depressurization, the permeability of sediments changes in two ways with hydrate dissociation, increasing with more pore space released from hydrate and decreasing due to pore compression by stronger effective stress related to depressurization. In order to study the evolution of sediment permeability during the production process with the depressurization method, an improved pore network model (PNM) method is developed to establish the permeability change model. In this model, permeability change induced by hydrate dissociation is investigated under hydrate occurrence morphology of pore filling and grain coating. The results obtained show that hydrate occurrence in sediment pore is with significant influence on permeability change. Within a reasonable degree of pore compression in field trial, the effect of pore space release on the reservoir permeability is greater than that of pore compression. The permeability of hydrate containing sediments keeps increasing in the course of gas production, no matter with what hydrate occurrence in sediment pore.
The Dongyang gold deposit is a newly discovered epithermal deposit in Fujian Province, Southeast China, along the Circum-Pacific metallogenic belt. Herewith, the authors present mineralogical, scanning electron microscope, and laser ablation inductively coupled clasma mass spectrometry analysis to reveal the relations between Au and Te, As, S, Fe, etc., and discuss the gold precipitation process. The pyrites in this deposit are Fe-deficient, and are enriched in Te and As. The authors infer that As was mainly in form of As-complexes, and Te-Au-Ag inclusions/solid solution also exsits in the Py I. Along with the depletion of Te and As, they were less active chemically in the Py II, and Au may be incorporated into As-rich and Fe-deficient surface sites by chemisorption onto As-rich growth surfaces. Because of the incorporation of new fluid, Te and As became the most active chemically in the Py III, which was the main elements precipitation stage, and As dominantly substituted for S in the lattice of pyrite, due to the more reducing condition. The authors propose Au was in form of invisible gold, and the incorporation of gold can be considered as post-pyrite event, while the Au-bearing minerals were result of post incorporation of gold in arsenian pyrite.
The Lower Cretaceous Yingcheng Formation in the southern Songliao Basin is the typical tight oil sandstone in China. In order to better predict the petrophysical properties of the tight sandstone reservoirs in the Lower Cretaceous Yingcheng Formation, Songliao Basin, Northeast China, the diagenesis and porosity evolution was investigated using a suite of petrographic and geochemical techniques including thin section analysis, scanning electron microscopy, mercury intrusion and fluid inclusion analysis, on a set of selected tight sandstone samples. Combined with the histories of burial evolution, organic matter thermal evolution and hydrocarbon charge, the matching relationship between reservoir porosity evolution and hydrocarbon accumulation history is analyzed. The result showed that the tight sandstone reservoirs characterized of being controlled by deposition, predominated by compaction, improved by dissolution and enhanced by cementation. The hydrocarbon accumulation period was investigated using a suite of hydrocarbon generation and expulsion history, microfluorescence determination and temperature measurement technology. According to the homogenization temperature of the inclusions and the history of burial evolution, Yingcheng Formation has mainly two phases hydrocarbon accumulation. The first phase of oil and gas is charged before the reservoir is tightened, the oil and gas generated by Shahezi source rocks enter the sand body of Yingcheng Formation, influenced by the carrying capability of sand conducting layer, oil and gas is mainly conducted by the better properties and higher connectivity sand body and enriched in the east, which belongs to the type of densification after hydrocarbon accumulation. The second phase of oil and gas charge after densification, which belongs to the type of densification before the hydrocarbon accumulation.
A suite of ultramafic and mafic rocks developed in the Chigu Tso area, eastern Tethyan Himalaya. Baddeleyite and zircon U-Pb ages acquired by SIMS and LA-ICP-MS from olivine pyroxenite rocks in the Chigu Tso area are 138.9±3.0 Ma and 139.0±1.9 Ma, respectively. These two Early Cretaceous ages are similar with the ages of the more abundant mafic rocks in the eastern Tethyan Himalaya, indicating that this suite of ultramafic and mafic rocks in the Chigu Tso area should be included in the outcrop area of the Comei Large Igneous Province (LIP). These ultramafic rocks provide significant evidence that the involvement of mantle plume/hot spot activities in the formation of the Comei LIP. Baddeleyite U-Pb dating by SIMS is one reliable and convenient method to constrain the formation time of ultramafic rocks. The dating results of baddeleyite and zircon from the olivine pyroxenite samples in this paper are consistent with each other within analytical uncertainties, suggesting that baddeleyite and zircon were both formed during the same magmatic process. The consistency of baddeleyite U-Pb ages in the Chigu Tso area with zircon U-Pb ages for a large number of Early Cretaceous mafic rocks in the eastern Tethyan Himalaya further support that zircon grains from such mafic rocks yielding Early Cretaceous ages are also magmatic in origin.
Seabed fluid escape is active in the Makran subduction zone, Arabian Sea. Based on the new high-resolution 2D seismic data, acoustic blanking zones and seafloor mounds are identified. Acoustic blanking zones include three kinds of geometries: Bell-shaped, vertically columnar and tilted zones. The bell-shaped blanking zone is characterized by weak and discontinuous reflections in the interior and up-bending reflections on the top, interpreted as gas chimneys. Vertically columnar blanking zone is interpreted as side-imaged gas chimneys associated with focused fluid flow and topped by a seafloor anomaly expressed as a localized reflection discontinuity, which may together serve as a vent structure. Tilted acoustic blanking zone could be induced by accretionary thrust activity and rapid sedimentation surrounding slope. Seafloor mounds occur at the sites of bell-shaped acoustic blanking zone and may be associated with the material intrusion. Bottom simulating refectors (BSRs) are widely distributed and exhibit a series of characteristics including diminished amplitude, low continuity as well as local shoaling overlapping with these acoustic blanking zones. The large amount of gases dissociated from the gas hydrates migrated upwards and then arrived at the near-seafloor sediments, followed by the formation of the gas hydrates and hence the seafloor mound.
In the greater inland Jianghan Basin of South China, three salt depressions are lacking accurate geological times, of which Jiangling Depression is the largest. Evaporites are important records of paleoclimate, however, the geological ages of evaporates are very difficult to be determined because often evaporates have scare macrofossils and microfossils. Nonmarine Cretaceous to Tertiary halite deposits interbedded with mudstones are widely distributed in China. Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum had very high temperatures and attracted strong interests of geologists because these times can be compared with future climate change because of global warming. However, previous studies focused on marine sediments found that during the Paleocene-Early Eocene, massive evaporate deposits formed in Jiangling depression of the Jianghan Basin. In this paper, the authors show that the Shashi Formation halite deposits formed in the Paleocene according to palynology. Most of these palynology fossils are arid types, so the massive evaporites in the Jiangling depression could be closely related to the hot Paleocene climate. High temperatures during the Paleocene contributed to the formation of the massive evaporates in the Jiangling Depression, until sylvite was the result.
As an S-shaped curve, the logistic curve has both high and low limit, which provides advantages in modelling the influences of environmental factors on biogeological processes. However, although the logistic curve and its transformations have drawn much attention in theoretical modelling, it is often used as a classification method to determine a true or false condition, and is less often applied in simulating the real data set. Starting from the basic theory of the logistic curve, with observed data sets, this paper explored the new application scenarios such as modelling the time series of environmental factors, modelling the influence of environmental factors on biogeological processes and modelling the theoretical curve in ecology area. By comparing the performance of traditional model and the logistic model, the results indicated that logistic modelling worked as well as traditional equations. Under certain conditions, such as modelling the influence of temperature on ecosystem respiration, the logistic model is more realistic than the widely applied Lloyd-Taylor formulation under extreme conditions. These cases confirmed that the logistic curve was capable of simulating nonlinear influences of multiple factors on biogeological processes such as carbon dynamic.
Swarms of orthopyroxenite and websterite veins are found within Egiingol residual SSZ peridotite massif of Dzhida terrain (Central Asian Orogenic Belt, Northern Mongolia). The process of Egiingol pyroxenite veins formation is investigated using new major and trace element analyses of pyroxenite minerals, calculations of closure temperatures and composition of equilibrium melt. The pyroxenites show abundant petrographic and geochemical evidence for replacement of the residual peridotite minerals by ortho- and clinopyroxene due to melt-rock interaction. Relics of peridotite olivines are found in pyroxenites, Cr# of spinel increases from peridotites to pyroxenites, and compositions of ortho- and clinopyroxene change from peridotite to pyroxenite. The authors show that calculated equilibrium melts for investigated pyroxenites are very similar to compositions of boninite lavas from the Dzhida terrain. Therefore, formation of pyroxenite veins most likely resulted from percolation of boninite melts through the Egiingol peridotites. Orthopyroxenite veins formed at first, followed by websterite veins. Thus, the authors assume that pyroxenite veins represent the channels for boninitic melts migration in supra-subduction environment.
The Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) spans three terrain steps in China and features diverse topography that is characterized by significant differences in geological structure and present-day crustal deformation. Active faults and seismic activity are important geological factors for the planning and development of the YREB. In this paper, the spatial distribution and activity of 165 active faults that exist along the YREB have been compiled from previous findings, using both remote-sensing data and geological survey results. The crustal stability of seven particularly noteworthy typical active fault zones and their potential effects on the crustal stability of the urban agglomerations are analyzed. The main active fault zones in the western YREB, together with the neighboring regional active faults, make up an arc fault block region comprising primarily of Sichuan-Yunnan and a “Sichuan-Yunnan arc rotational-shear active tectonic system” strong deformation region that features rotation, shear and extensional deformation. The active faults in the central-eastern YREB, with seven NE-NNE and seven NW-NWW active faults (the “7-longitudinal, 7-horizontal” pattern), macroscopically make up a “chessboard tectonic system” medium-weak deformation region in the geomechanical tectonic system. They are also the main geological constraints for the crustal stability of the YREB.
Considering the geological hazards attributed to the highway slope, using a common simple model cannot accurately assess the stability of the slope. First, principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted to extract the principal components of six factors (namely, bulk density, cohesion, internal friction angle, slope angle, slope height, and pore water pressure ratio) affecting the slope stability. Second, four principal components were adopted as input variables of the support vector machine (SVM) model optimized by genetic algorithm (GA). The output variable was slope stability. Lastly, the assessing model of highway slope stability based on PCA-GA-SVM is established. The maximal absolute error of the model is 0.0921 and the maximal relative error is 9.21% by comparing the assessment value and the practical value of the test sample. The above studies are conducive to enrich the assessing model of highway slope stability and provide some reference for highway slope engineering treatment.