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Chinese Scientists Visit USGS Gas-Hydrates Labs

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With the three Chinese visitors, the entire Woods Hole gas-hydrate group assembled in Bill Dillon's office for a photograph
Above: With the three Chinese visitors, the entire Woods Hole gas-hydrate group assembled in Bill Dillon's office for a photograph. From left to right, in the back row, Bill Dillon, Dave Mason, and Bill Waite; and in the front row, Ye Yuguang, Zhang Xun-Hua, Bill Winters, Olya Boldina, He Qixiang, and Debbie Hutchinson.
Below: Laura Stern describes recent results of deep-sea dissolution of gas hydrate in Monterey Canyon. From left to right: Laura Stern, Zhang Xun-Hua, He Qixiang, Ye Yuguang, Jennifer Dougherty, and Keith Kvenvolden.

Laura Stern describes recent results of deep-sea dissolution of gas hydrate in Monterey Canyon
With Earth's largest population, the People's Republic of China is exploring alternative sources of energy to sustain them into the future. Gas hydrates, which are interpreted to exist offshore China in the South and East China Seas, offer such a potential unexplored and unexploited energy source.

On September 9 and 10, three Chinese scientists from the Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology, a marine-research arm of the China Geological Survey, visited the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s gas-hydrate facility in Woods Hole, MA, to learn more about hydrates and possibly establish a cooperative research program.

The following week, on September 17, the visitors spent time at the labs of USGS scientists Keith Kvenvolden, Tom Lorenson, Steve Kirby, and Laura Stern in Menlo Park, CA. The Chinese delegation also visited with gas-hydrate experts in Canada (before their Woods Hole visit) and at Stanford University (before their Menlo Park visit).

A sign of the Chinese determination to develop a workable gas-hydrate research program, even though they are recent entrants in such research, was evident in the video the Chinese scientists presented about their gas-hydrate program: a large-scale model of a methane hydrate molecule welcomes visitors outside the front door of the Qingdao Institute!

During their visit, Professor Ye Yuguang, head of the Chinese Hydrates Lab, showed how gas hydrates are made in their facility; Zhang Xun-Hua, Director of the Department of Geology Research, talked about Chinese offshore geophysical data; and He Qixiang, emeritus and head of the delegation, explored numerous possibilities for cooperation.

Discussions in Woods Hole covered topics about gas-hydrate formation and preservation, the GHASTLI ( Gas Hydrate and Sediment Testing Laboratory Instrument) lab, the HyFI (Hydrates From Ice) lab, results from last summer's giant-piston-coring cruise on the French research vessel Marion Dufresne, and the geologic history of and gas-hydrate occurrence at the Blake Ridge offshore South Carolina.

In Menlo Park, a discussion about the geochemistry of gas hydrates from around the world was followed by handling both artificial gas hydrate and natural gas hydrate from the Gulf of Mexico.

Related Sound Waves Stories
Gas Hydrate Studied in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
September 2002

Related Web Sites
Gas Hydrate Studies
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology
Ministry of Chemical Industries, People's Republic of China

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in this issue: Research cover story:
Tsunami Deposits in the Geologic Record

Outreach Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Tenth Anniversary

Earth Science Week - Woods Hole

Meetings Chinese Scientists Visit Gas-Hydrate Labs

Blacks In Government

Briefing Congress on Coastal Hazards

Awards Distinguished Service Award - Bill Dillon

Distinguished Service Award - Bill Normark

Superior Service Award - Marlene Noble

Superior Service Award - Florence Wong

Environmental Champion Award - Sue Hunt

Safety Award - Ellen Mecray

Staff & Center News 30th Annual Falmouth Road Race

Barth Joins Menlo Park Team

Walk for Multiple Sclerosis

Twichell to University of Nevada

Woods Hole Softball

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